Hülkenberg: I didn’t expect more than P9
23 September 2013 – Sauber driver Nico Hülkenberg has insisted he was happy with ninth place on Sunday in the Singapore Grand Prix and he added that ‘you can’t expect every weekend to be like Monza’.
Hülkenberg took a surprise fifth in Italy earlier this month, after qualifying in third place on the grid.
However, he was always going to struggle to repeat that around the Marina Bay Street Circuit and slipped back in the latter stages after opting for a long second stint.
“It was a very tough race and at the end, it was a pure fight for survival, because the tyres were pretty much gone. Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber were all on fresh tyres and I simply had to focus on staying on track and finishing the race,” he explained.
“All in all we can be happy though. We brought home two points. To be honest, I didn’t expect much more than that.
“You can’t expect that every weekend will be like Monza now, but we improved significantly.”
Despite his positivity though, he remained miffed with having to concede a place to Sergio Pérez in the first third of the race, especially as he felt he had only gone off track to avoid a collision: “I did have to give back the position to him and I don’t quite agree with that. There was a Williams in the fight as well, Sergio was on the inside, but I had to leave space and caught the outer kerb. Then my car bottomed and I was off, however, I was in front of Sergio before and after the corner,” he reasoned.
Esteban Gutiérrez meanwhile finished twelfth in the sister car and will thus go to Korea in two weeks time still looking to break his points duck.
“We expected a better result today,” stated the Mexican. “Our pace during the race was not good enough, especially at the beginning as I was fighting a lot with the car. At times I pushed a bit too much, had a lot of oversteer and the tyres were degrading. It was one of the toughest races I have ever had. I did the best I could and this is where we finished. The strategy was not ideal either.”
“Nevertheless, the weekend was a step forward and now I will keep working to improve,” he concluded.