Nico Hulkenberg is set to start the 2023 F1 Canadian GP at P2 after an extremely confusing and drenched qualifying came to an end on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
This is his best qualifying in over a decade when he managed to be on pole during the Brazilian GP of 2010. Hulkenberg was delighted with this result, he mentioned that it was quite a confusing session.
"It was a wild quali, it was crazy. You know, changing conditions are tricky, especially around here with the walls so close in the exits and the speeds are high. Obviously, wets, dry and back to wets. So, you know, you have to readjust all the time, but it was fun. It was good," the German said.
Nico Hulkenberg had placed his car well enough to qualify for Q3. When the session started, there was light rain on the track, and soon enough, Oscar Piastri crashed, triggering a red flag. At this point in time, Hulkenberg had been the second fastest on the track. If the session was stopped around six seconds later, then it might have been Fernando Alonso, who was about to finish his lap.
However, while the session was stopped, it started raining much harder and the drivers could not improve their lap times later. For this reason, Nico Hulkenberg called this result 'unexpected.'
"Obviously, this comes a bit unexpected, but obviously very happy and proud of the team, they did a solid job. It was very smooth. So super happy," Hulkenberg said.
Nico Hulkenberg predicts racing on dry could be quite different
As far as Saturday went, the drivers were forced to use the intermediate tires because of the rain washing down the entire paddock. Although this made it tricky for them to drive, it also increased the competition between the drivers. The gap between the grid was relatively smaller, and hence, the qualifying was very unpredictable.
However, talking about the race tomorrow, Nico Hulkenberg mentioned that racing in dry conditions can be very different from the conditions that he was under today. While starting ahead is going to be good enough for Haas, it will be necessary for him to hold that position for as long as he can.
"Obviously, first row is nice. It's very sweet. Let's see, you know, how long we can keep that. And let's see what the conditions are tomorrow. All the signs that it is very different a dry race, so very different cup of tea, you know, I just want to go out there, race as hard as we can squeeze it, and hopefully, we'll get a nice result," Nico Hulkenberg said.