Nico Hülkenberg admitted it was a surprise when his engineers told him he had qualified seventh on the grid for the Chinese Grand Prix, and feels the Shanghai International Circuit better suits his RS17 more than Albert Park did two weeks ago.
The Renault Sport Formula 1 Team racer was quick out of the box during free practice on Saturday morning, and then translated that into a strong result during qualifying, ending up less than a tenth of a second down on sixth place Felipe Massa.
Hülkenberg feels that race day could be interesting regardless of weather conditions, and he has an excellent starting position as he looks for his first points since moving across to the Enstone-based team during the off-season.
“When we started driving in FP3 I felt immediately positive and happy with the car and its balance,” said Hülkenberg. “It felt better and more together than in Melbourne, and perhaps this track suits our car a little better too.
“I think from FP3 to qualifying, we were able to improve the car; I was happy, I was confident and it was a nice surprise when I heard the position over the radio.
“The forecast says rain for tomorrow, which brings its own challenges, but whatever happens I’ll approach the race open minded and do my best.”