Days after triumphing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Porsche, Nico Hulkenberg returns to his regular job this weekend with the Sahara Force India team as the Formula 1 season arrives at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix.
The young German took to the World Endurance Championship like a duck to water, winning at Le Mans at the first attempt with Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber, but his focus is already back on getting results in Formula 1, two weeks after finishing eighth in Canada.
“Finishing in the points in Canada was an important result for me,” insisted Hulkenberg. “I had a great feeling with the car and everything came together nicely. I think we have a good opportunity for another strong result in Austria.”
Hulkenberg admitted that the 2014 race at the Red Bull Ring had been his first ever time racing at the Spielberg track, and took a ninth place finish having started from tenth on the grid, and feels that without a German Grand Prix on the calendar in 2015 that the German fans will potentially flock to the circuit.
“I had never raced on this track before last year – not even in the junior formulas – so it was a new experience for me,” said Hulkenberg.
“It’s a fun track and it flows nicely, but there are a few corners that can catch you out, so it’s not easy to get a good lap together. It’s one of those tracks that looks easier on paper because it’s actually quite technical in many areas.
“Austria is a great place to race: the track is in a beautiful setting in the mountains and there’s a very relaxed atmosphere. Without the German Grand Prix this year, I expect a lot of German fans to come to Austria this year so there should be a big crowd once again.”