Nico Hülkenberg had a strong qualifying at the Hockenheimring on Saturday, setting the seventh fastest time and being the best of the rest behind the Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari teams, but the German will start eighth after a post-qualifying penalty.
The Sahara Force India driver felt he maximised the team’s potential during the qualifying session, but will take a one-place grid penalty after his team fitted a set of tyres that should have been handed back to Pirelli earlier in the weekend during Q1.
Hülkenberg knows there will be a big fight on his hands to score points on Sunday, but feels the VJM09 felt good in long runs during practice.
“I’m feeling pretty happy to qualify in seventh for my home race – it’s best of the rest behind the top three teams and a good effort by the whole team,” said Hülkenberg before his penalty. “Our objective is always to maximise our potential and it feels like we achieved that today.
“Most of my laps in the session came together nicely and my final effort in Q3 was spot on. We can expect a tough fight for good points tomorrow, but we are in a good starting position and we’ve looked strong here in all the sessions.
“The long run pace is competitive, too, so we’ve got every chance of getting a great result this weekend. There is talk of some rain tomorrow and to be honest I would not mind a shower during the race, but let’s wait and see what happens.”