“There was a discrepancy across the cars” regarding load — Hülkenberg explains F1 Canadian GP difficulties

Photo Credit: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
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Nico Hülkenberg was one of the five cars that got knocked out of Q1 during qualifying in Canada with the lap time of 1:13.978. Originally, he was supposed to start the Sunday race in the penultimate grid spot, but Esteban Ocon’s penalty moved him up to P18.

This season so far, the German driver was more used to starting much closer to the front, getting to Q3 multiple times in a row before being disqualified in Monaco along with his teammate Kevin Magnussen due to DRS infringement. Now, he will have to fight his way through the field if he hopes to score some points for the Haas team today.

Talking about some problems they had with the VF-24 car and its rear wing not performing as it should, Hülkenberg said the load measurements showed differences between his car and Magnussen’s.

“Yeah, that was [on Friday], but even [on Saturday]. I mean yesterday we had it, then we changed the same spec rear wing but a different one, and floor too.

“But again [on Saturday] the measured load, wasn’t where it should be, or there was a discrepancy across cars. And then yeah, we couldn’t fix it so we changed the rear wing, went to a higher downforce spec just before qualifying but…

Hülkenberg continued with the reasons behind his disappointing result as the changes put them out of sync in Q1, leading to a surprise exit considering his pace this season to date.

“Yeah, I think mounting, there’s been some issues. It got all a bit hectic. We got out a little bit delayed. And the run sequence just got a little bit out of… out of sequence, I would say,” he explained.

“I had only one slow lap before my last lap. And I think the tyres, because with the minimum lap time, they couldn’t really cool down enough — we were up against that. [And I] had some traffic in the last chicane.

“All that together just means that we’re out. And it’s obviously a day where you need to get everything right.”

With six out of last seven races being won from pole position here and the statistics showing overtaking is below the average on the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve, qualifying certainly was fundamental for the teams and drivers.

“All weekend it’s been difficult somehow. It’s not a smooth weekend. Quite the opposite, to be honest. So, in a way, I’m not surprised to be standing here now. We need to investigate and, you know, try to clean it up for the future,” Hülkenberg admitted.

“I mean, on pure car pace, it doesn’t look, you know, fabulous. But I think we need luck from race circumstances, maybe a bit of weather. Now that I’m on the high downforce, a bit of rain would be quite handy tomorrow.”

It seems then that Hülkenberg can only hope for rainy clouds to come and save the day for him, not really believing in the pure performance of the car this weekend. Risking a set-up change is something the German driver “[doesn’t] think that that’s what we do”.