Nico Hülkenberg admitted it was a lonely race at the Yas Marina Circuit as he finished seventh for a third consecutive race on Sunday.
The Sahara Force India F1 Team driver survived a first corner clash with Max Verstappen that damaged the floor of his VJM09, but despite this he was still fast enough to finish the best of the rest behind the leading three teams, outpacing team-mate Sergio Perez in the process.
“It was quite a simple and lonely race actually, mainly racing with my team-mate because the top six cars were just out of reach,” said Hülkenberg.
“Turn one was quite interesting because I got hit by Max [Verstappen], which damaged the floor of my car and made things a bit more difficult. Fortunately we had the pace to hold position and bring home the result.”
Hülkenberg has praised his team as he now departs the Silverstone-based team for the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team in 2017, and admits he has learned a lot to make himself a better driver since he joined the team.
“It’s great to end my time at Force India with a strong result and help the team finish fourth in the championship,” said Hülkenberg. “Everybody deserves congratulations and big credit for the amazing job this year.
“I leave this team with lots of happy memories and Force India will always be a part of my life. I’ve learned a huge amount here and they have made me a better racing driver. We’ve grown up together and I’m proud of what we have achieved.”