Haas performance and P11 finish in F1 Spanish GP “encouraging” as it was “probably better than we expected” — Hülkenberg

Photo Credit: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
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Haas’ Nico Hülkenberg finished the Spanish Grand Prix in P11, a repeat of the same result from the Canadian Grand Prix. He overtook Sergio Perez on the opening lap out of turn 5 and would go on to pressure Esteban Ocon throughout the day.

Speaking after Sunday’s race, the 36-year-old veteran gave his assessment of the race.

“Positive race generally, but obviously, yeah, not quite enough.”

Hülkenberg was bullish about his chances late in the race after his VF-24 became competitive as he hunted down Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in P10 but came up short in the end as his tyres began to give up on him.

“I felt the pace was very strong, especially [in] the final stint catching Esteban when I really pushed to put him under pressure. Well, I think the pace was very very respectable and good at that moment.”

“Yeah I tried to attack him, but then my tyres started to give up on me, so I couldn’t do it.”

Hülkenberg believed that he gave his all and argued that P11 was the best result the American-owned team could achieve in the race.

“But like I said, all in all I think we’ve maximised the race, pretty good start, good lap 1. Yeah, I feel like this is the maximum today.”

The German didn’t hide the fact that it was annoying and frustrating to finish in P11 for the fifth time this season, but he took the time to joke that he can ask for the points for that position if the system changes for 2025.

“To be honest, I don’t even remember them. They get erased from my mind. Wipe them out and go again in a few days.

“I need that new points system already. Maybe just reinstate next year when it comes, still going to invoice for this year!”

Unfortunately for Hülkenberg, he did pick up a 5-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane during the race, although his position remained unchanged.

“Yeah, I locked up quite badly, more than I expected. I had the brake balance rearwards, but I lost the front tyres quite badly on the way in.”

Hülkenberg said that Haas’ Barcelona outing shows promising signs in terms of pace as he recounted the ability to push and catch Ocon for P10. He finished 2.3s behind at the flag, before the 5-second penalty was added to his race time.

“I only have my impression from in the car and obviously Esteban was reference. [I’m] definitely faster than him and catching him, but obviously he has 10 seconds to go to Pierre [Gasly], and there’s a lot of faster cars ahead after.

“So I think, yeah, it’s definitely positive and probably better than what I or we expected to get. In a way, that’s encouraging.”

Haas’ scoreless weekend in Barcelona has led them to be overtaken by Alpine for seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, with only a point separating them now.

Hülkenberg remains 14th in the Drivers’ Championship standings, only ahead of Gasly by a point.