Joyce: Nico shut up! It’s not a warm-up lap
Nico Hulkenberg shrugged off a terse interchange with his Force India race engineer in which he was told to “shut up” during qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix.
German driver Hulkenberg said it was a “misunderstanding” after the engineer Bradley Joyce was heard to react aggressively to a suggestion that his driver was only on a warm-up lap.
The conversation was broadcast on the team radio to a live global television audience.
When Hulkenberg was told that Valtteri Bottas of Williams was 2.5 seconds behind him, he said: “So, I’ll have to let him past then if he’s pushing now.”
But Joyce replied: “No. You won’t. You’re pushing. You’re pushing! Do not do that. Do not do that! You’re pushing! We’re on a timed lap now, Nico.”
Hulkenberg then said: “Warm-up lap?”
Joyce replied, shouting: “Shut up! It’s not a warm-up lap. It’s a timed lap. Bottas is on a warm-up lap behind you. I’ll tell you where the traffic is. You concentrate on driving.”
After the session was over, and Hulkenberg had qualified 10th behind his Force India teammate local hero Sergio Perez, he said: “There was a bit of confusion.”
“I need to talk to the engineers because I couldn’t understand what was going on,” added Hulkenberg.