Haas recruit Nico Hulkenberg might be a popular driver amongst F1 fans, but he once threw a microphone at the face of a female reporter and walked away from an interview.
That is certainly not the sort of behaviour that one expects from the mercurial German, but what led to the situation in the first place?
Sky Sports producer Jess McFadyen discussed the incident during The Last Lap Show.
“Hulkenberg once de-microphoned himself and basically like threw it back at me and was like ‘I’m done’.”
McFadyen knew she had to elaborate further, so she re-enacted the event and shared the exact question that she asked Hulkenberg.
“Describe how you feel when driving around Baku in an emoji, I think literally something like that and he [Hulkenberg] was like ‘Nah, I’m done.”
This interview took place when Hulkenberg was at Renault, driving alongside Daniel Ricciardo.
This was his last full-time role before the Haas deal materialised, having served as reserve driver for Racing Point and Aston Martin in the interim.
Former F1 driver Marc Surer believes Hulkenberg has gained a lot of experience during his time as a reserve and warned rivals that they might be in for a surprise this term.
“He is a strong talent. In terms of speed, he usually gets to the point quickly,” Surer said.
“He’s not a sensitive driver, he’s always been able to move a car quickly somehow, whether it’s oversteering or understeering.
“From that point of view he’s certainly a good man and just wasn’t lucky when it came to to finish on the podium. He still has a score to settle.”
While Hulkenberg may boast of a decade of experience in the sport, he is yet to win a single podium.
The German will be hoping that 2023 will help alter this statistic.
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