Mar 17, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT
Nico Hulkenberg has made no secret of his frustration after he was withdrawn from the Australian Grand Prix on safety grounds following a fuel pump failure.
“I’m bitterly disappointed about what happened today, but at the same time I’m not blaming anyone. Things like this happen in racing. What is particularly bothering me is the fact that I lost all this mileage today, which is so important particularly at the beginning of the season.”
Hulkenberg had qualified in 11th place for the race, and he was well poised to score points for the first time in Australia. However, Sauber confirmed just before the race that the German driver would not be lining up on the grid, thus continuing his rotten form at Albert Park.
“Melbourne is not a good place for me. It was my third Grand Prix here and the third time that I leave this place empty handed. The only good thing is that the next race takes place next weekend.”
Sauber’s remaining driver, Esteban Gutierrez, impressed on debut by finishing in thirteenth place ahead of fellow rookie Valtteri Bottas. The Mexican driver was pleased with his race, and he believes that the foundations have been laid for a good season.
“I want to thank the whole team, because yesterday in qualifying we had a good chance and today we were able to recover some of what we lost yesterday. We have a good base and in the future we will try and push forward.”
Hulkenberg will be hoping for better luck in Malaysia as he looks to impress both his new team and the teams further up the grid. Many pundits believe he could be approached by either Red Bull or Ferrari at the end of the season, so a good start to the year will be crucial.
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