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Nico Hulkenberg

Hulkenberg hails 'half a miracle' despite points frustration

Nico Hulkenberg showed strong pace in Japan to narrowly miss out on his third consecutive race in the points.

To news overview © XPBimages

Nico Hulkenberg is confident he could have battled for points in Japan if not for a botched second start to the race.

Following a brief red flag to clear up debris from a crash between Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon, Hulkenberg lined up in 10th place.

It marked a strong position for Haas who was expecting to struggle around the Suzuka Circuit.

However, Hulkenberg's car slipped into anti-stall off the line, causing him to drop to the back of the field.

“The first start was really good, but the second start I went into anti-stall as soon as I dropped the clutch,” Hulkenberg told media including RacingNews365.

“I need to look into what happened there.”

'Half a miracle' to recover

Hulkenberg recovered to 11th place at the chequered flag and just missed out on scoring his third consecutive points finish which would have marked Haas' longest streak since midway through the 2018 campaign.

The German driver admitted shock over the pace of his car amid Haas' pre-event expectations.

“Honestly [I’m] a bit surprised that I managed to come back to where I did,” he said.

“I think it's half a miracle, to be honest. It shows that we had good pace.

"Obviously, I tried to go as quick as I could while managing the tyres as much as possible.

“It is a pity, because probably we could have fought Yuki [Tsunoda in 10th] or beaten Yuki. One point was up for grabs, but Hamilton was 50 seconds up the road, so that was out of reach."

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