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Nico Hulkenberg

Hulkenberg optimistic over ending Haas' five-year drought

Nico Hulkenberg has detailed what he and Haas must do in order to "nail" qualifying and the Monaco Grand Prix, where the team has not scored points for five years.

Hulkenberg Monaco
To news overview © XPBimages

Nico Hulkenberg has explained the two factors that will be central to establishing whether he and Haas can end the team's five-year wait for points at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Not since 2019 has the American outfit scored a top 10 finish around the streets of the principality, when Romain Grosjean came home in 10th place.

Hulkenberg has started the current F1 season in good form, with the foundation of his performances being built on strong qualifying pace - something that has been a hallmark of his since his full-time return to F1 at the start of 2023.

Whilst the 36-year-old has translated that into securing a seat with the Audi project next season, it has also been the backbone of four points-scoring drives with Haas in the opening seven rounds this term.

With the streets of Monte Carlo being notoriously difficult to pass around, qualifying well is critical to a strong Monaco Grand Prix. 

"I think looking on paper, you could say yes," he told media when asked by RacingNews365 if the Haas has the car for a top 10 finish in qualifying. 

"But then, I know Monaco and the loss here, and I know that I also need to find the confidence with the car and the good harmony to be able to get it.

"So it's never easy here to nail the lap and to be happy with the lap - it's extremely challenging. So, I feel ready for it, but I have respect for it - but we have to we have to work for it."

Indications of improvement

Since the point scored in 2019, Haas has struggled in Monaco, finishing towards the back of the field. In 2022, neither Kevin Magnussen or Mick Schumacher finished at all.

However, Hulkenberg remains optimistic the team can break its poor run of form in Monte Carlo, saying that differences to the Haas this season gives him hope.

"I hope so," he replied when asked if things will be better in Monaco than last year. "And there's some indications that it should [or] could be better. 

"But I don't want to say that too strongly, but there's quite some differences in the car this year compared to last year. Particularly in the areas where we were struggling, it's quite different now. So, give makes me optimistic that we're going to find a better package."

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen and Lando Norris went head-to-head for the victory around the famous Imola Circuit as McLaren continue to pile the pressure on Red Bull!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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