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Hulkenberg upbeat about Renault’s Monaco GP chances

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Nico Hulkenberg is optimistic about Renault’s chances in next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix as he looks to extend his streak of points finishes in Formula 1.

Hulkenberg led Renault to its best result since returning to F1 with a full works program at the beginning of 2016, finishing sixth.

The German has scored points in each of the last three races, scoring all 14 of Renault’s points so far this season – six more than it scored through the entirety of last season.

Hulkenberg will bid to extend Renault’s points streak next weekend in Monaco, but expects the conditions at the street circuit to play to the strengths of the team and its R.S.17 car.

“The track should suit us, especially with the super-soft and ultrasoft tires. I am looking forward to race day and obviously I’m aiming for a good result,” Hulkenberg said.

“Last year I performed there quite well and with the new cars it will feel even quicker. You need a good rhythm and a good harmony with yourself and the car and feel comfortable.

“Lap times can be tricky to find, but in recent years I have done well, so hopefully we can have another strong performance.”

The Monaco Grand Prix is live across NBC, NBCSN and the NBC Sports app next weekend.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.