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Nico Hulkenberg

Hulkenberg explains close-call after 'spicy' situation

Nico Hulkenberg was the top Ferrari-powered driver in qualifying for the British Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg wet Qualifying Silverstone
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Nico Hulkenberg explained that he had to deal with a "very spicy" situation in Q1 during qualifying for the British Grand Prix, as he had just one lap to avoid the drop zone. 

The Haas driver remarkably progressed to Q3 and secured sixth on the grid for the race, ahead of both Ferrari cars. 

Hulkenberg was the top Ferrari-powered driver, but came close to suffering the same fate as team-mate Kevin Magnussen. Magnussen was eliminated in Q1, something that would have happened to the German had he not aced his final lap. 

Haas gambled in Q1 and waited for the track to dry before setting a lap, saving them intermediate tyres. However, when it was time for slicks, Sergio Perez caused a red flag. 

It left Hulkenberg with just a single lap to make Q2, something he successfully achieved. He accepts elimination would have been a disaster.

"Yeah, pretty close," Hulkenberg told select media including RacingNews365. "Too close for comfort. 

"Obviously, there was immediately a dry line beginning of Q1. we saw everyone going out on inters but we said, 'okay, it's going to be slicks very soon'.

"But it took a bit longer than expected, then the red flag of Checo. I was about to go out and the red flag came out.

"And then at the end the rain also came into it so, yeah, very spicy situation. I had one lap, which was just about good enough to get us through otherwise that would have been quite disastrous."

Beating Ferrari

Hulkenberg has driven exceptionally this season and has been a regular in Q3. The mixed conditions have worked well for the German who, as mentioned, was the fastest Ferrari-powered driver. 

Carlos Sainz could only salvage seventh, whilst Charles Leclerc was eliminated in Q2 and starts P11 at Silverstone. 

Ferrari's poor qualifying also came as a surprise to Hulkenberg, who has stressed that keeping up with the Maranello-based team in the race is off the cards. 

"Over one lap, I don't know maybe they had issues?" questioned Hulkenberg. 

"I think [a Ferrari] out in Q2, that's obviously not normal. And it was obviously not a usual qualifying, it was a bit special circumstances. But in long runs, we're not there with them."

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