Hulkenberg puzzled by problematic handling

By on Sunday, November 3, 2013
Sauber F1 Team

Sauber F1 Team

Nico Hulkenberg says he is at a loss to explain why he struggled with his Sauber C32 during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg started the race from fifth place but eventually came home in 14th.

His race was compromised by a drive through penalty, which was awarded following his unsafe release into the path of Sergio Perez.

"I’m not quite sure what happened today," he said.

"I had felt comfortable with the car all weekend, but from lap one I was struggling with it. All the balance and the confidence I had was gone today, and I don’t know why. I had a lot of understeer in the first two stints."

"I couldn’t really rotate the car, which cost a lot of lap time. Then the unsafe release during my second pit stop, which resulted in a drive through penalty, was also quite costly. Now we have to evaluate as to why the car was so different today. It is disappointing, because there was a realistic chance for points today."

Team-mate Esteban Gutierrez finished in 13th place and admitted that he expected more.

"Obviously we were looking for a better result this weekend, so we can not be happy," he said.

"The pace is there, but qualifying yesterday affected the race today. Our strategy today wasn’t ideal either. I still had some good fights going on today, which I enjoyed, so I will take those positives with me and look forward to Austin."

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