Hulkenberg feels Haas is “in a much better place” than 2023 after qualifying 10th for F1 Bahrain GP

Bahrain Grand Prix Qualifying, March 1 2024. Photo by Mark Sutton / LAT Images
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Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg feels the team is “in a much better place” after qualifying in P10 for tomorrow’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg made it to Q3 and finished behind Lewis Hamilton by a gap of 0.792s, and will start Saturday’s race from the 5th row on the grid after running on scrubbed tyres in Q3.

The German lacked understanding of the performance of his VF-24 with low fuel, saying that the team “didn’t really do any low fuel running, any proper low fuel running” during pre-season testing and only did some in the practice sessions prior to qualifying.

However, he said he “had a feeling that the potential [was there] on low fuel still,” and that he hopes Haas will be able to maintain their good qualifying run during the Grand Prix.

When asked if it was encouraging that the car had good speed following the preparations prior to the weekend, Hulkenberg said that “tomorrow will be the real hard test,” but that he feels “in a much better place than last year.”

“The car feels better also than [what it did] at any other point last year during long runs and race simulations. So, that makes me somewhat optimistic.

“But I think there is still more room for improvement,” he warned.

“We’ll obviously put everything into it, but I know it’s going to be a challenge and a tough fight tomorrow.”

The German added he is not “100% sure” the team won’t slide down from their current form, and when asked if he’s confident he will achieve points during the race, he avoided being super optimistic and said he is “as confident as you can be.”

“It’s the first race, I’m excited, I’m ready for it. I feel prepared and very hungry to go racing.”