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Nico Hülkenberg achieved a top five result in Sunday’s European Grand Prix, in the process notching up his best ever F1 finish. The German, making up for his Valencia disappointment of 2010, has previously finished sixth for Williams in Hungary that year.
On Saturday, the 2009 GP2 Champion managed a Q3 qualifying position for the second time this season. On a two-stop strategy today, his tyres were going off in the closing stages – when he was passed by Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber – but the top five was still possible.
“A great result for everyone in the team today and for me personally,” said the man who had taken pole position at the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix. “Fifth place is a great achievement after a very long and difficult race. The two-stop strategy worked well, but the last stint was very long and it was hard to hold off the cars behind me on fresher tyres in the last few laps.
“So the race was a bit messy at times, but very entertaining and it feels great to come through and score such a good result for the team. We got a bit lucky with some cars dropping out, but we were in the right place to capitalise on things so I’m very happy about today.”
Team-mate Paul di Resta was the only driver in the field to attempt a one-stop strategy, which was hindered when the Safety Car was deployed.
“Of course, when you’re stopping once you really don’t want a Safety Car period, and it certainly hurt my race and cost me some track position,” the Scot explained. “But with the way the race unfolded, we can’t be too disappointed to finish seventh and it’s great to have another two car points finish.”
Force India, which before the season targeted a top five Constructors’ Championship finish, remains eighth overall but now only one point behind Williams.
Force India F1
|4.||M. Webber||Red Bull||+13.628|
|5.||N. Hulkenberg||Force India||+19.993|
|7.||P. di Resta||Force India||+22.866|
|Force India F1|
|10 Jun||Di Resta hails 'spot on' tyre strategy|
|7 Jun||Di Resta fastest in mixed opening session|
|7 Jun||Force India: Mercedes test a big advantage|
|2012 European Formula 1 Grand Prix|
|1 Jul '12||Alonso hopes to design F1 circuit|
|27 Jun '12||Stuck rubbishes Red Bull conspiracy theory|
|27 Jun '12||Force India target ‘home race’ podium|
|Paul di Resta|
|25 May||Di Resta 'left out to dry' in qualifying|
|16 May||Di Resta: We must concentrate on ourselves|
|13 May||Di Resta buoyed by 'big result' in Spain|
|24 May||Video: Sauber drivers preview Monaco GP|
|13 May||Hülkenberg: We have homework ahead|
|22 Apr||Hülkenberg pushing for car upgrades|
|19 Jun||Indian GP organisers shun race rumours|