After qualifying ninth for the Japanese Grand Prix, Nico Hülkenberg felt positive that he is starting in a good position, even if he lost some time in the final chicane that could have seen him jump a couple of places.
The Sahara Force India driver was only 0.181 seconds shy of the time set by team-mate Sergio Perez, but that time difference means Hülkenberg starts ninth, three places behind the Mexican.
The midfield battle was once again closely fought, especially during Q2, but Hülkenberg was able to make his way into the top ten shootout, and will be seeking to get a clean start to get the best opportunity of a good result.
“I’m pretty happy with today and I’m starting in a good position tomorrow,” said Hulkenberg. “My final lap in Q3 was looking really strong, but I lost a couple of tenths at the final chicane – it was okay going in, but I didn’t get the best exit from the corner. So maybe I could have been a little higher up the grid with a totally clean lap.
“We saw again today just how close things are in the midfield and I expect a big fight tomorrow. Track position is crucial here so it’s especially important to make the most of our starting positions with a clean start.”