Nico Hulkenberg says being eliminated on the first lap as he was in the United States Grand Prix is “painful and frustrating”.
Having impressed in qualifying to start from seventh on the grid, Hulkenberg was forced to retire on the opening lap after contact with Valtteri Bottas damaged his car. The retirement follows other first lap incidents including his crash in Singapore and being taken out at the start in Russia.
Asked if it’s worse to do so well until the start of the race and then retire, compared to having a bad qualifying and race, Hulkenberg replied: “It’s just painful.
“The whole weekend goes well, you’re under control, things go well and then one moment goes wrong and you lose the whole thing. It’s painful and frustrating. It’s the third time it happened this year, first lap, first corner more or less, that happened. It’s just the worst kind of feeling you can have because you don’t even feel like you have participated in the race.
“It’s much better to do a race and make a mistake or the race is s**t, but at least you can understand or work on it and analyse it. Like this you’re left with nothing and it’s just frustrating. Unfortunately that’s the way it is, so I had to write it off and go again this weekend.”
And Hulkenberg admits he analyses whether he was at fault in such instances but believes he has been unlucky this year.
“Of course you have to look at it and ask yourself ‘Was it me? What happened?’, but I think all three incidents were not really down to myself.
“The first one was in Sochi where I think Esteban [Gutierrez] ran into the back of me. Then obviously Singapore where again it was just an unfortunate racing situation, and now with Seb [Vettel]. So it’s one of those things.”
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