Hulkenberg: Damper failure among Monza issues

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Nico Hulkenberg has given more details about the issues that blighted his progress at Monza two weeks ago, which included a damper failure on his Force India.

Despite finishing a decent seventh, the German failed to match team-mate Sergio Perez’ strong pace all race long. Having left Italy with the firm belief that there was “something wrong with the car”, Hulkenberg was able to provide an explanation ahead of this weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix.

“We found a couple of issues with the car,” said the reigning Le Mans 24 Hours champion. “Also afterwards when you look back and you can go through data properly and analyse, the car was quite down on downforce and not producing the right level of downforce.

“That is history now, but getting that seventh place and keeping the Sauber behind the entire race, in hindsight, was a pretty good effort.”

Hulkenberg’s troubled Monza showing came on the back of a couple of retirements with the B-spec VJM08, but the 28-year-old keeps faith in Force India’s latest charger and looks to turn his luck around at Marina Bay.

“The B-spec has made a big impact to our performance in our season. Straight away in Silverstone we got a massive gain of performance and ever since we were able to put more and more on.

“I have had three races in a row that were unlucky and compromised, especially Spa and Hungary where I lost a lot of points.

“But the performance was good and promising. Even here looking at a low speed track with twisting corners it should be even better.”

Although Force India has been making headway in terms of raw pace, Hulkenberg, who has re-signed with the team for a pair of seasons, stills expects a massive scrap in the bottom half of the points-paying positions at Singapore.

“I see Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull at the front and hard to beat, but behind that it is us battling with Lotus, Toro Rosso and maybe McLaren. I think it will be close behind those three teams.

“If you think back to Hungary, which is more similar to this track, I was right behind Valtteri [Bottas]’ gearbox when the front wing fell off so I think we have a good opportunity to fight with [Williams too].”

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