Nico Hulkenberg: “I think we’re in pretty good shape”


Nico Hulkenberg had his best qualifying session of the season at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada, with the Sahara Force India driver setting the seventh fastest time on Saturday.

The German driver was encouraged by the performance by the team, and feels they have an excellent opportunity to score points in the race on Sunday, which would be his first points since the season opener in Australia back in March.

“It was definitely a good day in the office, both for me and for the team with two cars inside the top ten,” said Hulkenberg. “Seventh is my best qualifying result so far this year, which is really encouraging as we look ahead to the race.

“The car has been performing well since the start of practice and I think we have a great opportunity to score some good points tomorrow. The task ahead is still going to be challenging because there are some very quick cars around us and we will have a real fight on our hands tomorrow.

“It will be crucial to get the strategy calls right because the rain yesterday means we don’t have all the data to answer the questions on tyre life. But I think we’re in pretty good shape; I’m feeling confident and looking forward to a competitive race.”

Team-mate Sergio Perez will line-up tenth, but was not as happy with the result as Hulkenberg, and feels he should have been higher up the grid, especially with his time from Q2 being faster than his final Q3 time.

“It’s been a promising day and a great effort by the team to have two cars in Q3,” said Perez. “At the same time I am not satisfied with my performance because I think I could have been higher than P10.

“In fact my fastest time in Q2 was much better than my Q3 time, so it’s a bit disappointing. I was just struggling to get temperature into my tyres during my out lap in Q3 and I didn’t have the grip when I needed it.

“However, I must look forward because I am still in P10 and that’s a good place to start. I’m feeling optimistic of moving forward and scoring some good points.  We haven’t been able to do many long runs so there are still some unknowns about the race, but we’ve shown good pace all weekend and I believe we can do the same tomorrow.”