Force India was strong on the Baku City Circuit but Hulkenberg dropped out in Q2 on Saturday after spinning on his first run and then a miscommunication seeing him back off at the wrong time later in the session. The performance was underlined by team-mate Sergio Perez qualifying second, and although he started from seventh place Perez still managed to finish on the podium.
After finishing the race in ninth place, when asked if the weekend should have come to him, Hulkenberg replied: "Well, should, should, yeah.
"Our pace was good all weekend. But if you make mistakes you pay for it. And that is what happened."
Hulkenberg started on the soft tyre and ran a long final stint on mediums which saw him lose out to both Red Bull drivers in the closing laps.
"At the end there was nothing left. A tricky old race. The start was actually quite good. I think I would have had one, two positions, but then I got hit in the back into Turn 1. I am not sure who it was. I avoided a spin but it made me lose a couple of positions. And I think I was back in 14th at the exit of Turn 1.
"From there onwards I had to go through traffic, and lost a lot of time there initially. I used a lot of tires for that, and that made it quite difficult. We had to take the risks, drop off the softs early and go to the supersofts for 30, 31 laps. It was a big ask. We knew it was a bit of a risk, but I was happy to take it at the time."