Nico Hulkenberg: “I really lost out under the virtual safety car”


Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09. Austrian Grand Prix, Sunday 3rd July 2016. Spielberg, Austria. Credit: Sahara Force India

Nico Hulkenberg was disappointed with the result at the 2016 British Grand Prix, despite coming home in an excellent seventh place and completing a double point’s haul for the Sahara Force India squad, with team-mate Sergio Perez ending the race in sixth.

Feeling as though a number of factors worked against him during the race, the German believes he should have finished higher up the order, with the VJM09 having performed well for the 2015 Le Mans winner across the weekend.

“Obviously a good result for the team, but I still feel a bit frustrated with how the race unfolded because things didn’t work in my favour today. I really lost out under the virtual safety car, which allowed a lot of cars to jump me when I had already made the switch to intermediates. Then, I was stuck behind Felipe [Massa] for so many laps, even though I was a lot quicker than him.

“There was only a narrow dry line with a lot of standing water offline so it wasn’t easy to make a move. When everybody moved to dry tyres it was a lot of fun out there and you had to be very careful through turn one, which remained damp for so long.

“I did a very long stint on the medium tyres and by the final few laps it was just a case of trying to manage the degradation and survive until the end. Although I’m not totally happy, I am pleased with the car performance and the fact that we scored good points today.”

Although Hulkenberg was left frustrated by the day’s events, a sixth and seventh place finish was an excellent result for the Force India squad, who are edging ever closer to fourth placed Williams Martini Racing in the constructor standings, now just eighteen points adrift.