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The essential... Nico Hulkenberg

13 Feb 2015

Looking at his targets for 2015, Nico Hulkenberg might deem it essential that he scores more points than Force India team mate Sergio Perez. But what about the other essentials in his life? In the first of a new series of interviews, Hulkenberg reveals the essential elements of his pre-race routine, the essential ingredients of a good night out, and more…

What are the essential elements of your pre-race routine?
Nico Hulkenberg: I always take a moment to lie down to help me focus. Then I get active with a football warm-up, doing keep-ups.

What are the essential ingredients of a good night out?
NH: It doesn’t matter where you are so long as you are with good people!

What essential items must you have in your driver’s room/motorhome at a race?
NH: Hangers - to hang up my sweaty suits after driving! (laughs) Also, a treatment bed is essential for an end-of-day massage to ease any aches and pains.

What are essential qualities of a good F1 team mate?
NH: That he’s a team player, that he´s quick, and that he’s communicative.

What essential items must you always have in your fridge at home?
NH:
 Butter, milk, Nutella, eggs - basically anything dairy!

What are your essential qualities for a girlfriend/wife/partner?
NH:
 They have to be smart, intelligent, loyal, and have a good sense of humour.

Your essential tip for avoiding stress at airports?
NH:
 Just take it easy, chill, don’t stress and switch off your brain to a certain degree. (laughs)

What are the essential qualities of an F1 driver?
NH:
Talent, speed, intelligence/race intelligence, work ethic.

What is the essential Grand Prix every fan should attend at least once in their lifetime?
NH:
Monaco - for so many reasons. It’s the event of the season. When you arrive at the harbour your heartrate goes up, especially when you walk over the bridge to the pits. The fans can get really close, too. The place just looks amazing with the buildings, the scenery and the mountains, so it’s an essential race for fans.

What is essential to help you wind down after a race?
NH: A nice and relaxed dinner with friends or watching a movie from bed.

What are the essential elements of great racing circuit?
NH:
 I think it´s about the flow, that´s very important for me as a driver: the better the flow, the more fun basically. But also a good combination of different speed corners. Elevation is always cool too.

What app is it essential to have on your phone?
NH: 
WhatsApp.

What are the essential qualities of a team boss?
NH:
 It’s good to have a boss who is open and friendly, but at same time commands respect. They also need to inspire everybody working in the team and have a clear vision for the future.

What are your essential requirements at a hotel?
NH:
 A comfortable bed is the first priority. The hotel should have a comfortable and warm atmosphere - that´s where I feel comfortable.

What are your essentials for a good night’s sleep?
NH:
I’m not quite sure - I usually sleep quite well without any specific essentials. However, it’s essential not to drink coffee too late in the day!

What are the essential items you must have with you while travelling?
NH:
Chargers for phone, electrical adaptors, vitamin C tablets, compression socks for long flights, and good music.

What is essential to help you wake up in the morning?
NH:
Coffee - strong coffee!

What is the essential F1 corner?
NH:
Eau Rouge (at Belgium’s classic Spa-Francorchamps). It’s mega - so steep and so impressive in a Formula One car. When you look back at old movies of Spa from 50 years ago the corner is largely unchanged, which is really cool. It’s a corner every fan recognizes and it’s full of history.

What are the essential parts of your training regime?
NH:
It’s essential to do intensive training over the winter months to build up base fitness. During the season I do free weights and lots of cardio - running, tennis, cycling.

What are the personal qualities most essential for success in F1 racing?
NH:
Commitment and dedication. It’s about being totally focused on your goals. You can’t be distracted by anything. You need to be 100 percent committed to every aspect of the job.

What is your essential tip for the aspiring F1 driver?
NH:
The best advice is to never give up. You need determination and hunger if you want to be successful. Believe in yourself and never be complacent - hard work usually pays off. The harder you work, the luckier you become.