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Seventh place was possible!

Seventh place was possible!

( – Does Nico Hulkenberg's tire choice in sprint qualifying give him an advantage on Sunday? The Haas driver deliberately decided not to use a new soft tire in the SQ3 in Miami and thus finished tenth. His team wanted a new set of tires to be available on Sunday when the points are on the line.

Nico Hulkenberg once again led Haas into the third period

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“The general consensus from me and the team was definitely not to drive a new car,” Hulkenberg confirms. sky. “Then the only alternative is to drive the used car or not to drive it.”

Not driving in the last section and getting 10th without a fight was not an option for him, because: “You never know the limits of the track, accidents or anything else. You can always get a little something at the end.”

However, we ended up in 10th place, which upset Hulkenberg a little. In his opinion, despite the damaged tires, there is still more potential. Lando Norris was about four thousandths of a second shy of ninth, and even seventh was only one tenth away.

“Left, right at the headrest.”

“I think seventh place was possible,” Hulkenberg complained. However, he awkwardly hit the curb in the turn and was left there for a tenth of a second. “I put my helmet to the left and right against the headrest, and I've rarely seen that,” he says. “I'm a little upset about that, but other than that it was good.”

For Sky#i expert Ralf Schumacher, Hulkenberg has done his homework once again. Although he narrowly snuck away in SQ1, in SQ2 he was there again at the decisive moment and not only overtook teammate Kevin Magnussen again, but also took both Mercedes out of the race.

“Above all, they are getting the best of the group at the moment,” Schumacher praised. “But of course, in a team you have to beat your teammate. And if you sensationally make it to Division Three again like he did, you can sleep well.”

Running is like another exercise

Whether Hulkenberg's performance on Friday is also points-based, we'll see on Saturday. Tenth place is a good starting point, but it won't give you any points at the finish. Because the competition between the top teams is so strong, the Haas driver does not expect much from the speed race.

“It will be difficult tomorrow because only the top eight get points, as we know,” he says. “And there are only fast cars there, so I don't have much hope.”

So he sees sprinting as being like another training session where you can learn more in order to get your setup right for the most important part afterwards. Hence the additional frame can also play a role.

Hulkenberg does not currently know whether his decision to use the used tire in qualifying for the sprint races was the right one: “We will find out on Sunday evening when we settle down.” “Even then, these are always snapshots of such a race, but for me this is the right decision at the moment.”