H?‚??lkenberg impresses on his way to seventh (Williams race review)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico H?‚??lkenberg, Williams, Monza, 2010

Nico H?‚??lkenberg was fortunate to go unpunished for his chicane-cutting antics in the Italian Grand Prix.

Nonetheless this had the hallmarks of a breakthrough performance for the rookie driver as he out-qualified and out-raced veteran team mate Rubens Barrichello.

Rubens Barrichello Nico H?‚??lkenberg
Qualifying position 10 8
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’23.328 (+0.291) 1’23.037
Race position 10 7
Average race lap 1’27.713 (+0.592) 1’27.120
Laps 53/53 53/53
Pit stops 1 1

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Rubens Barrichello

Spent a frustrating race tucked up behind Sebastien Buemi’s Toro Rosso, which was very quick in a straight line.

He eventually broke through via the pit stops and finished tenth.

Compare Rubens Barrichello’s form against his team mate in 2010

Nico H?‚??lkenberg

Nicked eighth on the grid off Robert Kubica by the tiny margin of two thousandths of a second.

Had a problem with his brake pedal during the race which may explain some of his trips across the run-offs at the chicanes.

It was a tough day, but a rewarding one. I lost position off the start line, but managed to recover two places in the first chicane. From then on, I seemed to be fighting one or other of the Red Bulls for the whole afternoon, and there wasn?ů‘ťľ‘šůt a moment when there was any let up in the pressure.

It was made all the more difficult as I was struggling with the brake pedal, but it was an exciting afternoon of attacking and defending with great work in the pitstop, so I am pleased with the outcome.
Nico H?‚??lkenberg

Mark Webber, who felt H?‚??lkenberg had illegally held on to his position on occasions by cutting the chicanes, was not pleased, though he eventually overtook the Williams.

Compare Nico H?‚??lkenberg’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 Italian Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Italian Grand Prix articles

24 comments on “H?‚??lkenberg impresses on his way to seventh (Williams race review)”

  1. Not sure if anyone else saw it, but Rubens appeared to have damage to his front wing from the onboard footage for nearly all the race.

    Not taking anything away from Nico of course, it was a stellar performance, but it might explain the larger than usual gap between the two cars.

    1. (as well as the Toro Rosso effect of course)

  2. The lack of penalty for Hulkenburg was a joke, but if Schumacher wasn’t penalised in Canada why should Nico have been?

    1. Because Alguersuari was penalized for doing once what H√ľlkenberg did three times. I suppose the brake pedal would go some way to explaining why he did what he did, but would the stewards have known that?

      1. Whether he had a sticky brake pedal or not should not come into consideration.

        If he has problems with his brakes, he needs to brake earlier or pull off. That’s what his options would have been if there was a wall there, so that’s what his options were otherwise too.

        1. that shortcut while he was defending had nothing to do with the stickiness of his brakes. he was consumed by his defense and made a mistake and cut the corner in a place where Webber would have made the pass at least to a chance of 70%.

          the rest of the mistakes he did were possibly brake related, but other than that he deserves a lot of credit for taking the pressure….

  3. I also don’t want to take away anything from Nico’s performance but if for example Sebastian would have defended like this my ears would be ringing from all the criticism. Nico did great, no doubt! That was real racing and that’s what we want to see.

    1. I’ve noticed the Rookies coming from lower categories generally defend more aggressively.

  4. I couldn’t help but think that there should be more of a reward for the pressuring driver … on a number of occasions Hulkman was able to recover from mistakes that really should have resulted in him losing a position – not necessarily from penalty, but if tracks were less forgiving, or the use of run-off better adjudicated he wouldn’t have been able to get away with it and Webber would have passed much sooner.

  5. I have read 2 different pieces of information regarding Hulks chicane cuttings:
    1. Stewards decided not to investigate because there was no overtaking (that was not the case in the GP2 series)
    2. Stewards actually checked Hulks lap times finding out that he lost time on those laps where the cuttings took place.

    Anyone knows more?

    1. From what we heard on the radio in the race it seems it was referred to Charlie Whiting, and he must have said it was fine.

      Looking back at the video from the race there are clearly no instances where Webber was alongside H√ľlkenberg and H√ľlkenberg stayed ahead by going across the chicane.

      The closest moment came on lap 39 where Webber appeared to duck out of H√ľlkenberg’s slipstream then pull back in just before H√ľlkenberg locked up his rear brakes and went over the chicane.

      Based on the calls we’ve seen from stewards in the past I’m not surprised he didn’t get a penalty. Some people mistakenly believe there’s a “three strikes” rule for this sort of thing but generally there isn’t unless the drivers have been specifically warned before the race.

      1. So no information related to checking lap times?
        In my opinion, for these cases where no advantage on car positioning is taken, the lap/sector times should determinate if there is a penalty.
        In that close moment you mention in lap 39, Webber pulling back because of Hulk braking late and consequently cutting the chicane… I guess a correct braking from Hulk would have had Webber not pulling back and overtaking as a consequence.

        Always braking too late to keep position is only possible on chicanes, giving the advantage to the “offender” (can think of another word right now)

  6. H√ľlkenberg did a great job, and he was fun to watch, but I think some of his defensive moves were a little too aggressive.

  7. Webber was pretty impressed, that’s for sure… :)

  8. Watching the race it certainly looked like he was should’ve been penalized. That said though I have no idea what information was available to the stewards at the time. In any case, that was one hell of a drive for the H√ľlk. If Rubens can develop the car like he did for Brawn, Nico could be up fighting for podiums next year.

    1. “he was should’ve” Whoopsy doodle. Keith, any word on getting an edit button added?

  9. hul is a cheater, and does not impress me.

    1. I think calling him a “cheater” because he missed his braking point a few times is a bit over the top.

      1. yes, a few times. for me: 3 chicane cuts = drive through.

  10. He was faster than Rubens, because he drove a shorter circuit, cutting the chicane;-)
    I think he should have been punished first time. If I was driving cart against someone who did this, I would’ve followed him over the chicane next time to try and overtake immediately after, but Webber would probably had been punished for that, if the overtaking was successful. However I think Webber would’ve had a hard time getting by Nico even if he had got past Hulkenberg earlier.
    But what if it sets a precedence and we then see it more widely used as a defensive manoeuvre? But OK, after the Hockenheim scandal, You can hardly argue that it is a sport, so who cares if Hulkenberg is cheating a little:-)

  11. This begs the question that if Button had maintained his lead over Alonso for the race by cutting the chicanes, would he have been left to it by the stewards?!?

    If ever there was a case for a penalty, it was H√ľlkenberg’s continual cutting of the chicanes. This act, whether deliberate or not had the effect of breaking the slipstream of the car following and, giving him an extra 30 – 50 meters for that particular straight.

    Webber’s mistake was not to seriously try to take him earlier. Rather he waited for the stewards deliberation believing they would force him to give up a place. That never came and he ended up running out of time for any further passing attempts.

    1. This begs the question that if Button had maintained his lead over Alonso for the race by cutting the chicanes, would he have been left to it by the stewards?!?

      It depends on the circumstances. For example, when Alonso came out of the pits side-by-side with Button, had Button gone over the chicane then and got ahead of Alonso I expect he would have got a penalty.

      Had he done it on one of the laps when Alonso was behind him and not trying an overtaking move then, like with H√ľlkenberg, probably nothing would have happened.

  12. surely the hulk was just worried that if he breaked too early webber would have run up the back of him just like valencia….

  13. John.H i think i saw that aswell

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