Hulkenberg sees the devil in the details at Renault

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault F1
© XPB 

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg conquered his and the manufacturer's first championship points of the year in Bahrain and is confident he can repeat that performance in Russia.

Renault has undoubtedly taken a tangible step forward this season, validated by its impressive top-ten qualifying pace.

But while Hulkenberg's outlook for the weekend is positive, his team is still a work in progress.

"The car is basically good, it’s just a number details where we need to improve," says the German.

"The positive is we know what these areas are and what we need to do to improve them. We want more downforce and to improve the car aerodynamically and we want to use the tyres better in the race."

Bahrain testing last week yielded good results and a good preparation for Sochi.

"I think we made good progress to enable us to improve our race pace for Sochi when we were testing in Bahrain and we have some new bits for the car to facilitate this too.

"Of course, the Sochi Autodrom is a completely different circuit, so we can’t accurately predict our relative performance until we get there, but I’m feeling positive. "

Like many of his colleagues, Hulkenberg appreciates the Russian venue, as much the track as the environment.

"I like travelling to Russia, it’s a cool place and I like the track and infrastructure there. Of course, my main focus is on the track itself and it’s a good one to drive, so I go there with a happy face.

"It’s one of the longer laps of the season and this is compounded by there being a lot of corners. This makes it a big challenge for any driver as you need to get every turn in each sector together perfectly, especially in qualifying.

"It’s a very quick and flowing track, which is why I like it so much. There are a number of tricky bits too, especially braking into the corner at the end of the back straight.

"The final sector is a bit more technical and slow in its nature, but overall it’s a fun track."

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