Hülkenberg overcome with career-best fourth place
3 September 2012 – Heading into the Belgian Grand Prix, Force India had feared a major loss in points to Sauber as the Swiss cars started second and fourth on the grid. Amazingly, after both Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez were hit in the first corner pile-up, Nico Hülkenberg and Paul di Resta out-scored them by 12 points with their fourth and tenth positions.
The result marked the best of Hülkenberg’s F1 career to date, improving on his previous best of fifth at this year’s European Grand Prix in Valencia. He had started 11th and was one of only two drivers in the field to begin the afternoon on the Hard compound tyre.
“I’m delighted with the result today – my best finish in Formula 1,” said the German, who in the early stages ran as high as second after overtaking Kimi Räikkönen’s Lotus. “It’s a result that the whole team has worked hard for and I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all of the guys because everything went perfectly today. The start was eventful, but fortunately I avoided all the debris and was able to take advantage of the situation.
“I was up a high as second and for a while I was even thinking we could finish on the podium, but the race was tough; I had some great fights with Kimi and Michael (Schumacher) and I was always on the limit. For us it was clear that we had to stop twice and we made the strategy work. So I’ve got a big smile on my face because it’s just the result we needed for our fight in the championship.”
Force India has now jumped up to seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, ahead of Williams, and trails Sauber by 21 points with eight races to go.