Nico Hulkenberg finds the silver lining to his record for most starts without a podium

Michelle Foster
Nico Hulkenberg with his mechanics in the Haas garage. Canada June 2023

Nico Hulkenberg with his mechanics in the Haas garage. Canada June 2023

The driver with the longest run of race starts without a podium, Nico Hulkenberg says he’s “not bitter or frustrated about it” as it means he’s had a long enough career to claim the record.

Having started his 193rd grand prix last time out in Belgium, Hulkenberg’s P18 meant he once again extended his record run having surpassed Adrian Sutil back in 2017 at the Singapore Grand Prix.

That Sunday he overhauled his compatriot’s 128 race starts to grab one of F1’s unwanted records.

Nico Hulkenberg: There must be some good in there too somewhere

The driver, who has had stints with Force India, Sauber, Renault, Aston Martin, where he put in four substitute performances, and now Haas, has 530 points to his name, one pole position, and two fastest laps.

But what he doesn’t have is a top-three result.

“That’s stating a fact there,” he said as per Autosport.

“Obviously, when you start thinking about it that’s a little bit frustrating. Because every racing driver back then and even now wants to win, ideally. But at the same time, I’ve never had the car.

“I’ve had good cars and also had opportunities to deliver the podium, but then for various reasons, it never really happened. Never clicked and happened.

“But, to be honest, I’m still in a good, happy place – enjoying myself. And if I reflect back, of course, there were things I could’ve done better.

“But I’m not bitter or frustrated about it. I’m in a good place and going to hit I think 200 grands prix later in the season – somewhere around Mexico [in October].

“And whilst not having the podium, I think if I would be so bad I would’ve not managed to stick around [for] 200 grands prix – so, there must be some good in there too somewhere.” recommends

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It’s a record the 35-year-old could continue to extend given Haas, who are also chasing a first Formula 1 podium, are expected to re-sign him for next year’s championship.

The German says if he gets the chance to put the Haas on to the podium, he hopes he can take it as in the past he has missed out on a few opportunities.

“I’m here in the current Formula 1 season, working day-in, day-out and trying to maximise the season,” he said.

“I have to maximise what I have. And the opportunities in the past, unfortunately they didn’t work. Of course, that was very frustrating at the time, but that is what it is.

“There is that and someone told me the other day there is this statistic ‘most races without a podium’.

“But there is another statistic like ‘most points without a victory or without a podium in F1’. My point is that statistic speaks for me, actually.”

This season, his first back in a full-time seat since 2019, Hulkenberg has scored nine points to sit P14 in the Drivers’ Championship.

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