Force India now challenging Williams for seventh
23 July 2012 – Hockenheim came as a boost for Force India, which scored two points for ninth place as Williams failed to finish in the top ten. The result marked Nico Hülkenberg’s fifth points finish of the season and means the Silverstone team originally known as Jordan is now just one point behind its nearest rival.
Force India headed into 2012 with a top five Constructors’ Championship finish the firm target, but currently sits 59 points behind that position. After starting fourth in his home Grand Prix, Hülkenberg was pleased to score but had hoped for more.
“We always knew it was going to be tough to hang on to fourth place because we did not look especially strong in the dry conditions on Saturday morning,” admitted the former Williams driver. “But when you’re in that position you hope for the best and actually the first part of the race was strong for me and I had some good battles.
“In terms of strategy, doing three stops was the way forward because a two-stop race was not possible with the way the tyres were degrading. So it’s good to come away with some points but I was certainly hoping for a bit more from my home race.”
Now at the halfway point of the 2012 Formula 1 season, Team Principal and Managing Director Vijay Mallya acknowledges the meaning of the result but also admits that the team had hoped for a heftier points haul.
“Two important points scored today, but we were hoping for more considering our strong starting positions,” said the Indian entrepreneur. “We split the strategies, with Nico stopping three times and Paul (di Resta) doing a two-stop race, and there was little to choose between them in the end. Both drivers battled hard, but it was difficult to defend on such an open track where it is easy to overtake.”
The team now heads to Hungary, where its best result to date is Paul di Resta’s seventh place of last year. In terms of best a qualifying performance at the Hungaroring, Adrian Sutil managed eighth on the grid in 2011.