Nico Hulkenberg is expecting a brilliant atmosphere at Monza while Sergio Perez knows the importance of qualifying in the top 10.
Q. Nico, it was a challenging weekend in Spa but you eventually came away with a point…
NH: “It was a mixed weekend. We had good pace, but we couldn’t achieve the maximum because of the mistakes in qualifying. The race was interesting; we made up a lot of positions, but we also lost some time battling our way through the traffic. In the end, we got one point and that’s better than nothing.”
Q. Monza in September is surely one of the best races of the year…
NH: “It’s a fantastic weekend and I really enjoy everything about the event: the town, the people and the track. The atmosphere is just brilliant with the energy of the fans and the history of the place. It’s also a fun track to drive. It looks simple, but hooking up a quick lap is still a challenge and it’s easy to make mistakes.”
Q. Monza is a power track – do you think that will suit the VJM07?
NH: “I expect us to be quite competitive there. It should be better for us than Spa. It’s all about power and top speed and we know the engine will be strong. We also have a new low downforce rear wing that we will use for Monza only. Braking from top speed for the chicanes with a skinny rear wing is always tricky.”
Q. Sergio, points in Spa was a good way to begin the second half of the season…
SP: “We had to score points to keep in touch with the teams ahead of us in the championship so we went quite aggressive in the race – flat out all the way. It was a nice feeling to score my first points at Spa because I love the track. Getting two cars in the points is the target for all the races to come.”
Q. Is Monza a special track for you?
SP: “Definitely. It’s another favourite of mine. I think everybody enjoys going there because it’s such a beautiful location. I raced there a few times before Formula One and always had good results. I was on the podium two years ago [finishing second] – it was one of my best races in Formula One and a very special memory.”
Q. Can you repeat such a performance this weekend?
SP: “We will certainly try. I think it’s going to be a good track for us. It’s important to qualify in the top ten to have a chance of scoring good points. It’s difficult to overtake at Monza and if you are out of position it’s hard to recover.”