Nico Hulkenberg believes eighth was the best he could achieve for the Malaysian Grand Prix after the top three teams locked out the first three rows.
The Sahara Force India driver will start Sunday’s Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit on the fourth row with team-mate Sergio Perez, with the German continuing his strong performance on Friday into Saturday’s sessions, where he ended Friday in ninth.
Hulkenberg is pleased with eighth as it’s the best Force India could achieve behind the top three teams, Mercedes AMG PETRONAS, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari.
“I am quite satisfied with how today went and my starting position for the race,” said Hulkenberg. “When the top three teams lock out the first three rows, seventh and eighth is the best we could have achieved.
“In the end, my lap was not good enough for P7: I felt a bit more comfortable and had a better rhythm at the start of the session and it fell away slightly in Q3 – perhaps the track cooled and that’s one of the possibilities we will try to understand tonight. Still, eighth is a very good position to start tomorrow’s race.
“It’s going to be really close behind the leaders: I hope we can keep up with the cars in front and take the opportunity if anything happens. Our priority is to stay inside the points and maximise what we can get out of this race.”