Sixth place caps ‘excellent weekend’ for Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg

F1i 11:41 22/06/2015
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Recognition is needed: Nico Hulkenburg.

Nico Hulkenberg says sixth place in the Austrian Grand Prix caps an “excellent weekend” for Force India.

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The Le Mans winner qualified fifth on the grid after an impressive performance and followed it up with a strong drive to secure a top six finish, losing one place to Valtteri Bottas’ Williams.

Having looked competitive from Friday afternoon, Hulkenberg says Force India’s whole performance needs recognising as Sergio Perez also scored points in ninth.

“I’m very satisfied with sixth place today,” Hulkenberg said. “Going into the race we always knew it would be difficult to keep the Williams of Bottas behind me, so bringing the car home in sixth was probably the maximum we could achieve.

“I had some good wheel-to-wheel battles with him and we swapped places a few times, but it was hard to match their absolute pace.

“Overall it’s been a great weekend: I found a nice rhythm and I have been very happy with the performance of the car.

“With Checo in the points as well, it’s been an excellent weekend for us and we can be proud of what we’ve achieved.

“It’s an important boost ahead of Silverstone where we hope to make another step forward.”

Perez is pleased both cars scored but admits some disappointment he wasn’t able to gain a few more places after a pit stop problem.

“It is a great result for the team to come away with so many points,” Perez said. “We’ve moved up to fifth in the championship and that’s an incredible effort by everyone in the team.

“I had a great start and first lap: the target was to get ahead of [Pastor] Maldonado as he was the first driver on the prime tyre and we managed to do that.

“In the first stint I had a lot of pressure from both the Lotus drivers, but we held strong and the race was looking really good. Unfortunately, we lost some time in a slow pit stop and it was a bit difficult to recover after that, especially as that placed us behind [Marcus] Ericsson and [Felipe] Nasr.

“The second stint was not very easy because I had some very strong vibrations on the front tyres and that cost me some pace.

“All in all, considering our position on the grid, it was a good race. I think we could have been a couple of places ahead if everything had gone to plan, but it’s still a good result.”

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