Earth, Wind and Fire - Q&A with Nico Hülkenberg

A second successive sixth place for Nico Hülkenberg leaves him well in the mix at the front end of the midfield fight. Now Nico is ready to get his groove on in Azerbaijan, the Land of Fire, in the city famed for its strong winds.

What do you like about Baku?
It’s still a fairly new venue to Formula 1 and we are still getting used to it. It’s an interesting place and certainly carries a different vibe to the usual Grand Prix with the old town buildings and cobbled streets. There are some cool looking, vintage houses around with an old castle situated at the heart of the circuit. Last year’s race is memorable for the fans, not so much for me unfortunately, but if it’s similar to last year we have to make sure we can seize on every opportunity.

How difficult is a lap of the circuit?
There are some walls waiting for you so it’s important to be quite brave, but not go over the limit. The viewing is good for fans and the speed is cool to watch. It’s the fastest street circuit on the calendar with overtaking possible with the long, DRS straight. There are a lot of tight, 90-degree turns matched with flat-out kinks, which give you a buzz when you fly through. The castle complex of turns 8 to 10 is especially close with the wide cars. Monaco is spacious in comparison!

Are you pleased with your opening to the 2018 season?
It’s a positive start to the season, and it’s good to be at the front end of the midfield. It’s important to keep picking up a good number of points to make sure we are in the hunt. It’s about continuing on this upward trajectory and putting the work in to make sure we are ahead of our rivals.