Q&A with Nico Hulkenberg

Monday 27-January-2014 13:24

Nico H├╝lkenberg shares his thoughts on his return to Force India, the VJM07 and the upcoming Jerez test...

Q: Nico, you must be excited about the upcoming season and your return to Sahara Force India...
NH: "Absolutely, I'm happy where I am: I fit in well here and I know the team. I think they are well prepared and also I think we're looking for the same things. Therefore I'm very comfortable and I'm looking forward to the coming weeks and months."

Q: Is it like a homecoming for you?
NH: "In a way, for sure, it is that kind of feeling. It should make all the normal processes you go through on a race weekend easier, because I know most of the people. I have the same race engineer and lots of the same mechanics, so that's going to help. It will make the transition and bedding-in time shorter."

Q: You were only away for a year - have there been any changes?
"There are a few new faces, but I'm already working with them, so I'll get used to that quite quickly. The core bunch of people is still pretty much the same."

Q: What are your thoughts on the new rules?
NH: "It's exciting times, but there's not so much I can say at the moment - I think everybody is a bit in the dark in terms of how the car is going to behave, what it's going to be like, and also the driving sensation for us in the car. There are quite a few question marks still there and I think we can't really give you all the answers until we've been out on the track running."

Q: Are you the sort of driver who can adapt very easily to whatever driving style is required?
NH: "I think you need to be able to adjust to the required circumstances and adjust your driving style. It's not easy and it will be a big challenge for everyone involved. The drivers have to deal with fuel management and everything else as well, but I think that's exciting. Going into the season I've never been in a situation like this in Formula One where we know so little about what to expect and what's coming."

Q: Do you see it as an opportunity for the established order to be mixed up because it all depends on who has done a better job of interpreting the rules?
NH: "I think it could be an opportunity, but it works in both directions, because the regulations are really so different. A lot has changed, especially on the engine side, so from that point of view it's impossible to predict anything. I'm sure there's an opportunity to do something special, but there's also an opportunity to make a mistake and to go the wrong way. We won't know until after the first couple of races."

Q: Do you see reliability as a key factor that teams can take advantage of?
NH: "I'm sure that could play a role at some point. For now everybody has to master the challenge and focus on reliability and make sure they tick the box. We're all in the same boat there, the manufacturers and all the teams."

Q: You have a new team mate this year in Sergio Perez. Do you get on well with him?
NH: "I look forward to working with Checo. For sure it's going to be a challenge for both of us: we are both in the early stages of our career - we're both entering the fourth year of our career, and we're hungry for success and highly motivated. It will be interesting to see how the year develops. It's going to be a competitive environment, as it should be between team mates, and I'm sure we'll push each other along."

Q: What can you tell us about your choice of number?
NH: "Obviously we all had to make a choice and I got the one I actually wanted - the number 27. I'm happy, but it's not a huge deal for me. It's a nice thing to have but it's not the most important thing in the world!"

Q: Finally, how would you sum up your goals for the season?
NH: "I hope that we have a competitive car and that I can deliver good results, just like I did at the end of 2013. But again it's really hard to define and set the targets with so many question marks in the game. Obviously we want to do well, we want to score a lot of points and I think maximising our package and our performance is the main target for now."

Source: Force India

© 2014 - 365 Media Group

Any reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of 365 Media Group is strictly forbidden.