“Much more in the car,” he said after the session. “Really frustrating and upset. My time in Q2 was on a used set from the first lap. We need to review what happened on the out-lap and how we got into that mess and situation with Fernando and Esteban.
“But I ended up losing out big time for that. I kind of had to stop the car in the final corner to get a gap to them. And as soon as you slow here, there is something with this tarmac when you go slow, the tyre picks up a lot of s*** and dust and then opening the lap I just found myself with not having the grip that I needed. I was a second down in the first sector and aborted the lap.
“So much more in it; Q3 should have been very straightforward, hence it is very frustrating.”
The 35-year-old expanded on the lack of track space at the end of the second qualifying phase on Saturday, recalling that he was stuck behind Max Verstappen before ceding position to Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.
Hulkenberg’s slow start to the lap would ultimately prove costly to his chances of progression.
“I was making a gap to Max and then Fernando and Esteban came with so much overspeed from the back,” elucidated Hulkenberg. “With these mirrors, they’re better, they’re bigger, but you still see the car so late and when they come and have a closing speed of 100kmh it’s not so much you can do anymore and obviously you can’t block them, like in a race, it would be a massive shunt. Very upset, very frustrating.”
Hulkenberg expects to pay one visit to the pits during the race due to tyre degradation being “within reason.”
“I think we expect a one-stop,” he added. “Deg seems to be within reason, obviously still TBC because it’s not – short or long runs weren’t that long with the one-hour session, see how the new tarmac goes and how that behaves tomorrow.”
Hulkenberg went on to praise a “good job” done by Magnussen, whose first run in Q3 secured fourth spot before Charles Leclerc’s crash put an early end to the session.