Hulkenberg: You need to be quite brave on the brakes as Monza...

Hulkenberg: You need to be quite brave on the brakes as Monza has hard braking zones

Renault, Nico Hulkenberg
photo: Renault

An uncharacteristic error in Spa forced Nico Hulkenberg into retirement, but the German is keen to dust that aside as he aims for a positive result in Monza.

Where does Monza rank on your list of favourite circuits?

I do like Monza, it’s a place which carries a lot of history, so that makes it very special. The atmosphere is never disappointing there, it’s fantastic. Circuits with history are always interesting and fun; it’s a great feeling to race at these places.

What are the main characteristics of the circuit?

In terms of the actual track, it’s obviously very high-speed throughout; it’s called the Temple of Speed for a reason! It means a low-downforce setting on the car to suit high, straight-line speed. Low downforce can mean the car feels light and uncomfortable, and that’s something we’ll be adjusting to in the Friday practice sessions. You need to be quite brave on the brakes as Monza has hard braking zones, especially the chicane at the end of the main straight. Of course, there are some legendary corners like the Lesmos, Ascari and the Parabolica, which are a lot of fun to drive when you get them nailed.

Do you like the Italian atmosphere?

The atmosphere is always good to experience in Italy; the Italians know their motorsport, especially Formula 1, and they get very passionate when it comes to town. It’s a special atmosphere at Monza. I like my food and this place is pretty good for that. I’ll be sure to eat a pizza at some point over the weekend. It all adds up for a very fun experience.

What’s there to say about Spa?

The weekend didn’t go to plan. I hold my hands up for the incident as it was my misjudgement. I’m sorry to my competitors who I eliminated from the race. We have an immediate opportunity in Italy to go again, and I’ll be doing my best for a good result. We know we’re going to be near the back of the pack with the grid penalty, but hopefully, the pace will be there which will propel us into the points.