Hulkenberg: 'Important to be brave in Baku, but mind the walls!'

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team on the grid.
© XPB 

Nico Hulkenberg will be gunning for another run in the points in Azerbaijan next weekend, but warns that Baku's challenging and fast street circuit is one that takes no prisoners.

The German driver has enjoyed a top-10 finish at every race this season , with two successive P6 finishes leaving him well in the mix at the front of the mid-field.

“It’s a positive start to the season, and it’s good to be at the front end of the midfield,” says the Hulk.

“It’s important to keep picking up a good number of points to make sure we are in the hunt. It’s about continuing on this upward trajectory and putting the work in to make sure we are ahead of our rivals.”

Renault's Cyril Abiteboul revealed that the French outfit will initiate a development push in Baku, and Hulkenberg will likely be happy with anything that can make his life easier at a venue where drivers have alot to contend with.

“It’s still a fairly new venue to Formula 1 and we are still getting used to it,” the German driver says of Baku.

“It’s an interesting place and certainly carries a different vibe to the usual Grand Prix with the old town buildings and cobbled streets.

“There are some cool looking, vintage houses around with an old castle situated at the heart of the circuit.

“Last year’s race is memorable for the fans, not so much for me unfortunately, but if it’s similar to last year we have to make sure we can seize on every opportunity.”

With its mix of long straights and slow technical sections Baku offers a diverse set of challenges, and a few good opportunities for F1's late brakers. But mind the walls, warns Hulkenberg!

“There are some walls waiting for you so it’s important to be quite brave, but not go over the limit,” he insists.

“The viewing is good for fans and the speed is cool to watch. It’s the fastest street circuit on the calendar with overtaking possible with the long, DRS straight.

“There are a lot of tight, 90-degree turns matched with flat-out kinks, which give you a buzz when you fly through. The castle complex of turns 8 to 10 is especially close with the wide cars.

“Monaco is spacious in comparison!”

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