Nico Hülkenberg: “I had the confidence to really push”

Nico Hulkenberg - Credit: Sahara Force India F1 Team

Nico Hülkenberg felt seventh was the best result he could have hoped for at the Yas Marina Circuit during his final qualifying for the Sahara Force India F1 Team before he departs for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team for 2017.

The German will start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the fourth row of the grid alongside team-mate Sergio Perez, and admitted he was surprised to have qualified so high up the grid after a disrupted weekend where he sat out first practice on Friday and missed half of the final session on Saturday.

Hülkenberg is hopeful the strong form continues into race day as he hopes to help Force India clinch fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Williams Martini Racing outfit.

“I’m very happy and I think seventh place was probably the maximum result for us today,” said Hülkenberg. “I’m pleased with my laps, especially considering the lack of running I have had this weekend, sitting out FP1 and missing half of final practice.

“Going into qualifying I thought it was going to be quite difficult, but we made good progress with the car during the session and I had the confidence to really push on all of my laps.

“Hopefully we can deliver more of the same tomorrow to end the season and my time with Force India in style. The cars ahead in the top six may be just out of reach, but we will give it a go and see where we end up.”