Hulkenberg focused on Monaco: 'Nothing compares to it'

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS18.
© XPB 

Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg says he's fully focussed on next weekend's race in Monaco, and isn't looking back at the events of Barcelona.

Hulkenberg was taken out of the Spanish Grand Prix when Romain Grosjean spun out of control at turn 3. The Haas took out Huleknberg as well as Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly.

"It was frustrating," the German driver admitted. "We’d got on top of the car and I was charged-up to work my way up the order.

"It's difficult to swallow, especially when it's not your fault," he said. "It happened very quickly so I couldn't avoid Grosjean spinning backwards into my car."

At the time, Hulkenberg said that Grosjean "had some homework to do" and should focus on avoiding more first lap accidents in future. But now, the 30-year-old's attention is on looking forwards, not backwards.

"My focus is now Monaco," he said. "Nothing compares to Monaco, there is no place like it. It’s the highlight of the year and the race I most look forward to.

It’s just so unique and special in every aspect; the glitz, the glamour, the circuit itself.

"The whole vibe is amazing throughout the weekend. It’s one of those tracks which give you a sensation of speed and, in turn, a real buzz."

It's also one of the most difficult. The street circuit might have been fine for race cars in the 1950s, but it's almost impossible to run a 2018 Formula 1 car at full speed on the tight and twisty track.

"Any error will put you in the wall and that means game over," Hulkenberg agreed. "You have to be confident as a driver in Monaco, and believe in your car.

"You build that confidence up in stages, lap by lap, session by session," he continued.

"From a physical point of view it’s not the most demanding circuit., but it requires a lot of concentration, precision and discipline," he added. "It’s not a high G-force track, as it’s mainly low speed, but it’s full on, a busy lap and means concentration levels have to be on point.

"There isn’t much point in getting over excited or confident too quickly, because you’ll soon find yourself in the wall.

"Qualifying is where you need to peak and take those risks, getting closer to the barriers and on the limit. That’s when you find that buzz and that excites me.

"It’s usually a thrilling race, anything can happen, even though overtaking is difficult. But that’s the challenge. I really love racing at Monaco."

Monaco is unique in other ways too, with free practice being held on Thursday leaving Friday for sponsorship events. Many drivers claim the principality as their home, and the different schedule for the weekend

"It’s a nice change up to the normal routine," Hulkenberg said. "It feels a bit strange to go home every night and between sessions.

"But I like that, and it puts me at ease a little bit. I quite enjoy going out on the scooter or biking around the track."

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