Hulkenberg unhappy with qualifying record against Ricciardo

© XPB 

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg can't deny he's been outpaced by teammate Daniel Ricciardo in qualifying this season, but the German invokes mitigating factors to justify the deficit.

After eight rounds, Hulkenberg and Ricciardo are level on points in the drivers' standings but the score between the two drivers on Saturdays is an overwhelming 7 to 1 in favour of the Aussie.

While Hulkenberg acknowledges his teammate's merits, the German also points to a few unfortunate circumstances that held him back in qualifying.

"After the first three, four races, in which he stumbled a little - well he didn't stumble, but he just needed a period to get used to it - that was the time where I always had technical problems in qualifying," explained Hulkenberg.

"A few [good results] slipped through my hands. They went to him.

"He does a good job in qualifying, you have to say that and acknowledge it. Somehow there's a bit of a worm [jinx] in it for me in qualifying this year.

"Somehow there's always something - sometimes it's my own fault, sometimes small unfortunate circumstances in the background, but nothing serious," he added.

"For example the wind. Suddenly I will have a head wind on the straight and I will lose one and a half tenths.

"The numbers speak for themselves and sound very clear - and I don't like them either. But it is what it is.

"We're the same when it comes to points. I'll try to turn the statistics around a bit now, but he already knows what he's doing in qualifying."

Hulkenberg insists his teammate's edge on Saturdays hasn't altered the good relationship they share at Renault.

"It's similar to all the other teammates before," he said.

"It's already a competition, but there is open communication between both sides.

"We have the same views about the car and where we want to go with the development, it's all going quite well."

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter