Nico Hülkenberg heads to Azerbaijan in a bullish mood as he seeks to return to the points on the old, cobbled streets in Baku.
What do you like about travelling to Baku?
Baku is an interesting place and has a different feeling to the conventional Grand Prix weekend. It’s also a bit different to any street track because everything is located quite close together, including the distance between the hotel to the paddock. The old town buildings, vintage houses, castles and cobbled streets are all quite cool to see. The race is also interesting year on year; I’ve been a little unlucky for the past two seasons there, but you have to be in the right place at the right time to capitalise on any opportunity.
Where are the key sections on the circuit?
The long straight is probably the standout section of the whole track. You can get a big tow from other cars there as we saw last year with our early battle with the Red Bulls and, as everyone knows in Baku, anything can happen. It’s high-speed and intense there. The middle sector is quite good with some winding, slow-speed corners and close walls on both sides. We have to go beyond our comfort level in Baku because the cars have low downforce settings, and that’s both a challenge and a thrill at the same time. The slightest mistake there can have a big impact.
How do you feel after China?
It’s disappointing to retire from two of the three races so far this year, especially as we’ve shown strong pace at each weekend. The car has been feeling good, I’ve been feeling comfortable in the car and there’s certainly potential to score solid points at each race. We have to ensure we have more consistent weekends. Baku can be a strange place for results, everything and anything seems to happen there, so we have to be in the best possible position to be in and amongst it.