Hulkenberg enjoying ‘tricky and nasty’ Miami despite practice crash
By Mat Coch
Saturday 6th May, 2023 - 10:24am
Nico Hulkenberg described the Miami International Autodrome “tricky and nasty” following his Free Practice 1 crash ahead of Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix.
The German was ninth fastest at the end of the opening hour despite crashing out on his first visit to the Florida venue.
His session-ending incident occurred when he lost control at Turn 3, spinning and tagging the barrier on drivers’ left with the right side of his Haas.
It damaged the front right suspension and raised concerns for the gearbox.
“A bit unnecessary,” Hulkenberg admitted.
“Just wanted a bit too much too soon and obviously my first time on this track and running wide there in Turn 3 is a little tricky.
“This track, it seems like there’s one line where the grip is good. If you go off line a little bit, the grip drops dramatically.
“And even later in the sessions there’s a lot of marbles off line. It’s quite a tricky and nasty track in that sense – easy to get caught out.”
Hulkenberg completed Free Practice 2 without issue and suggests that Haas will be in the battle for Qualifying 3 tomorrow.
“We managed to pick things up in P2 again and quite a good feeling again with the car – I think the car is quite happy around here,’ the 35-year-old said.
“I enjoy the track too; seems quite fun.
“It’s going to be nip and tuck tomorrow, I think,” he added.
“Depends on who converts quali the best, who delivers the cleanest laps, I guess.
“I can see a challenging quali coming, a very dynamic one with traffic, with a lot of track evolution, so not an easy one.
“But I feel that we’re competitive and that we’re somewhere around there.”
Haas this weekend is one of the few teams to have introduced upgrades, with a revised floor on both cars.
That, according to Hulkenberg, has been a positive addition.
“It’s a very different sensation obviously to Baku; different aero configuration, a little bit different compounds again, so it’s hard to cross-compare,” he explained.
“But just going off the relative pace and time sheets where we were, it looked to perform okay.
“It felt good. We were obviously playing around with it today with ride heights and stuff like that.
“Still obviously exploiting more tonight. Looks good, it looks positive.”
Free Practice 3 begins on Saturday at 12:30 local time (02:30 AEST Sunday), with Qualifying to follow at 16:00 (06:00 AEST Sunday).
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