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Nico Hulkenberg: Bad luck now a 'laughing matter'

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Nico Hulkenberg says he has now resorted to simply laughing about the bad luck he has endured so far in his Formula One career, having failed to register his first podium.

The Renault-bound driver recorded a joint-career-best fourth place finish at last year's Belgian Grand Prix on his way to sealing ninth in the drivers' standings in 2016. Despite taking a pole position in Brazil during his maiden campaign in 2010, he is yet to deliver a top-three finish in his 115 starts. A mixture of poor reliability and bad luck has been attributed to the German failing to achieve a podium in his F1 career thus far.

Reflecting on his 2016 season with Force India -- in which teammate Sergio Perez twice made the podium in Monaco and Baku -- Hulkenberg said: "Of course it was disappointing. But I am tired of being frustrated about it, so I just laugh about it now. It is just -- I don't know why. It is not meant to happen. It is a shame because I would have liked obviously to have scored a podium for myself and the team of course, but it hasn't happened!"

A number of opportunities to score a podium slipped by in 2016, most notably in Brazil, where Hulkenberg had been running in contention for a possible podium until he hit debris from Kimi Raikkonen's car and later suffered a puncture, ultimately finishing seventh.

"It was one of these days where I did a pretty good job," Hulkenberg said when reflecting on the Brazilian Grand Prix. "The car was good, everything was there, but unfortunately some debris cut the tyre and the rest is history. I don't believe in these things. I believe in hard work and good decisions and the rest it will come or it doesn't.

"There is always a reason for it -- if you go to each incident or case. There is always a reason for it. Some could have been avoided, some were mistakes -- because mistakes happen like misfortune in Sao Paulo. But at the end of the day, it is what it is."

Further opportunities evaded Hulkenberg during the course of the year, including at Singapore, where he was the unfortunate victim of a first lap collision, while he felt the timing of Safety Car periods in China and Belgium also hurt his chances of a rostrum appearance.

Hulkenberg says he usually refuses to dwell on feeling like an unlucky driver, although he admits it did play on his mind at times last season.

"It did this year, there are a few cases where for sure it happened and we were just unlucky, I don't know why. But it is not that I think about it and cry that I am always the unlucky one. It is just life, hopefully it returns the other way a favour in the next few years."