It was once again a race of differing fortunes for both Sahara Force India drivers today in Korea. Nico Hulkenberg was one of the stars of the race and was able to finish sixth, whilst his team mate Paul di Resta fought on to a twelfth place finish.
Hulkenberg was pleased to make progress from his eighth place grid slot and performed one of the overtakes of the season as he managed to pass both McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Lotus’ Romain Grosjean around the outside in one corner.
“That race was a lot of fun and it’s great to get such a mega result. It wasn’t easy though, and for most of the race I had the Lotus of Romain [Grosjean] pushing me and some great battles. Even the first pit-stop was very close with Romain, but the team did a great stop because it was important to stay ahead at that stage,” he said.
“I think the best moment of the race was the fight with Lewis [Hamilton] and Romain in the final stint when I got ahead of both of them in turn four. They both went to the inside so I just saw the opportunity to use the outside line and made the move work. That certainly put a big smile on my face. So a very positive day, an amazing job by the whole team and lots of positives to take as we head to India for our home race.”
Unfortunately for di Resta, it was a more frustrating afternoon once again for the Scot as he finished outside the points.
“A tough race in many ways and it’s fair to say that the result in qualifying hampered us quite badly. We expected the supersoft to be a better race tyre and so we saved it for the second stint. As it happened, the soft tyres did not last long enough at the start of the race and when I switched to the supersofts they started graining straight away,” the frustrated driver explained.
“So we were not on the ideal strategy and that impacted the whole race, and after that I was always struggling with traffic and couldn’t make any progress. On the positive side the car seemed competitive here with the points for Nico, but it’s just a bit frustrating that we couldn’t maximise it.”
“Another very strong day for us with Nico battling hard and showing the race pace we knew was possible. The race-long battle with Grosjean meant Nico was always under pressure, but he kept his nerve and came out on top. I think Nico’s move on Hamilton and Grosjean was outstanding and definitely the highlight of the race,” Robert Fernley added.