Boxing clever - Q&A with Nico Hülkenberg

Nico Hülkenberg is pumped full of energy after a shorter than wanted Monaco Grand Prix. He’s poised to put in a premier performance at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

How much do you enjoy the Canadian Grand Prix?
Canada is a great Grand Prix weekend, I love the circuit, I love the city and I love the atmosphere. The circuit is a combination of a street circuit and a race track. There are big walls on the exit with nice kerbs you have to ride. It is a track with a really nice flow so I enjoy it very much. The week in Montréal is always one of the best of the year.

Do you have any preference with the weather conditions?
Mixed weather conditions make things interesting and spices things up, but I don’t have any strong preference to weather, we will take it as it comes. Canada usually throws up some surprises.

What is the atmosphere like during the weekend?
At the hairpin, you are surrounded by grandstands left and right and as a driver you get a really good sense of atmosphere there. On the drivers parade you usually get goosebumps when you see all the fans cheering, it is a lot of fun, especially when it is a full house. You can see how much Canada loves Formula 1 because the whole city embraces the race and the locals give us a very warm welcome. There’s a huge buzz around town and a lot of events that create a special atmosphere.

How challenging is the circuit to drive?
Canada has a lot of focus on top speed, with a couple of straights combined with hard braking zones. It is one of the toughest tracks for brakes. You need confidence from the anchors, especially when you are trying to go deep into the corners. The final chicane can always be a tricky one as you can lose a lot of time there. It can be difficult as Canada is all about high speed, the low downforce configuration always makes the car feel light. Kerbs are important, you need to ride them well if you can and use them to ensure a good lap time.

Where are the overtaking opportunities?
It’s hard to overtake there, but the final chicane is definitely the best opportunity. You have to try and stay out of the ‘Wall of Champions’, though! The tyre choices are at the softer end of the range, so there will be some aggressive strategies, we will see what we can do.