Hulkenberg has participated in a total of 193 Formula 1 races. However, it’s important to note that this count does not include the races in Melbourne in 2013, Spa in 2015, and Silverstone in 2020, as he was unable to start those races. His highest achievement so far has been finishing in fourth place.
He accomplished that outcome on three occasions while representing what was formerly known as Force India and Sauber from 2012 to 2016, yet narrowly missed out on several other podium finishes.
These include his crash with Lewis Hamilton after leading much of the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix and the slow second pitstop that meant he missed out on a likely third in the 2016 Monaco GP.
The driver with the next highest race total without an F1 podium is Adrian Sutil, with 128 starts.
Hulkenberg acknowledged the fact that he has never driven for a top-tier team in the championship when questioned about his frustration regarding his lack of F1 success.
It is evident that contemplating this can be somewhat exasperating. This is because every racing driver, both in the past and present, aspires to win. However, I have never been fortunate enough to possess the suitable car.
“I have owned quality vehicles and have also had chances to achieve success on the podium, but unfortunately, for different reasons, it never materialized. The perfect combination and outcome never occurred.”
However, truthfully speaking, I am currently in a positive and content state, thoroughly enjoying my time. Upon contemplation, it is undeniable that there were certain aspects where I could have performed more effectively.
“I don’t feel bitter or frustrated about it. I’m in a positive state and I believe I will reach around 200 grands prix later this season, possibly around Mexico in October.”
“I don’t have the podium, but I believe that if I were so terrible, I wouldn’t have been able to stay in the game for 200 grands prix. Therefore, there must be some positive aspects in my performance as well.”
Nico Hulkenberg, Haas F1 Team
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Hulkenberg also mentioned that throughout his F1 career, he had only encountered “a few” occasions where he had a chance to achieve a podium finish.
“I am currently participating in the Formula 1 season, dedicating myself every day to maximize my performance,” he expressed regarding his perspective on his career. This viewpoint has experienced a resurgence since joining Haas after Hulkenberg’s departure from Renault in 2020.
“I need to optimize my current resources and make the most of what I have. Regrettably, the opportunities in the past did not yield favorable results. Naturally, it was quite disheartening at that moment, but that’s just the way it goes.”
“There is that and someone told me the other day there is this statistic ‘most races without a podium’.
“I cannot reword”
After an outstanding performance in his junior racing career and securing the pole position for Williams in Brazil 2010, Hulkenberg was anticipated to join a top F1 team and was frequently associated with a potential transfer to Ferrari ten years ago.
However, that scenario never occurred and he has subsequently dedicated his extensive F1 career primarily to competing for teams in the middle of the pack.
Hulkenberg, who is 6ft tall, says he is height “definitely hasn’t helped” and believes he missed out on chances to race for better teams as a result of F1’s weight and cockpit packaging requirements than favour smaller drivers.
Ferrari’s decision to not sign Hulkenberg for 2013 was influenced, in part, by his height.
Hulkenberg mentioned that he has never been rejected by a team for being too tall, as they would likely not be upfront about it.
I believe it has definitely limited the occasional chance to move up to a high-quality vehicle.
“In this industry, it is not ideal to have packaging problems, limited space, and increased weight.”