Nico Hulkenberg praised his team for the hard work this weekend in Bahrain after making it through to Q3 during Saturday’s qualifying session.
The Sahara Force India driver had not looked like being a contender for Q3 for much of the weekend, but during qualifying the VJM09 began to perform, at least in his hands, and his late lap during Q2 was enough to move into the top eight, bumping Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean to ninth.
Although Hulkenberg was not able to do any better than eighth in Q3, he was none the less happy with the result of qualifying, insisting it is better to be starting higher up the grid than in the midfield where he would have been had he not completed his final Q2 lap.
“It’s a nice result to make Q3 because we’ve had to work hard this weekend to get the performance we needed from the car,” said Hulkenberg. “The changes we made last night took us in a good direction and made the difference today.
“During qualifying the car just got better and better, and I think the track improvement came towards us as well. All of my laps were clean and tidy, and I’m happy with our performance.
“Hopefully tomorrow night will be a similar story because I think we can come away with some good points. It’s true that the cars directly behind me have a free choice of tyres, but I’m happy with where I’m starting because it’s always better to be further up the grid.”