Hulkenberg looking to shrug off Baku error in Austria

© XPB 

After last week's Azerbaijan race staged on the streets of downtown Baku, the location for the Austrian Grand Prix could hardly be more of a contrast.

"Spielberg is in the middle of nowhere," commented Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg. "There isn’t much around. Just lots of fields and cows. But also a lot of green which is very pretty and picturesque to see."

With no German Grand Prix on this year's Formula 1 calendar, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Austria could almost be considered a stand-in home race for Hulkenberg.

"These days, Monaco is a home race for me as that’s the one where I stay at home for the race weekend," he pointed out.

"But Austria definitely has a familiarity about it and it’s a very welcoming event," he conceded.

"The atmosphere is very relaxed and lots of German fans make the short trip over the border. So yes, it almost feels like a home race for me.

"I love racing in Spielberg especially with the backdrop to the track, with the Alps," he added. "It’s spectacular, and there is an old-school vibe to the circuit which I enjoy.

"It’s a short track with not too many corners," he elaborated. He added that it was "important not to get a false impression as it’s still very challenging and technical.

"It has a lot of elevation – up and down – and some tricky corners to match. On paper, it looks easy but actually to get a good lap time it isn’t so simple."

Hulkenberg will certainly be looking for a better time of it in Speilberg than his race in Baku. He was running as high as fourth place in Azerbaijan, before crashing on lap 24 following a safety car restart.

"It was a difficult weekend," he admitted. "It was a crazy race, one of those you get every five years.

"We were making up places with people crashing. I was just trying to stay alive and out of trouble. Unfortunately two laps after the red flag, I misjudged the turning into turn seven. I hit the inside wall and broke the steering arm.

"That was the end of my race which was disappointing, we surely would have had a couple of points. That is racing, however. We will regroup and go again in Austria.

And if nothing else, it sounds as though Hulkenberg's spirits will undoubtedly be lifted by the cuisine on offer in Spielberg.

"It’s mandatory to eat a schnitzel that is for sure," he said. "They come from Austria and I absolutely love schnitzels.

"I also recommend kaiserschmarrn. It’s a fantastic Austrian dessert. I love it!"

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