With Force India thriving in the midfield – Paul di Resta having just missing out on a podium in Bahrain and scoring in two other races – it might be worth asking whether Nico Hulkenberg was smart to leave one of the top midfield squads to head to another in Sauber.
Hulkenberg led laps and posted a best finish of eighth place in Malaysia, while in China he led again but later fell back to 10th after his tires and strategy fell off. He’s comfortable outpaced rookie teammate Esteban Gutierrez, but that hasn’t been much of a surprise.
Asked by Autosport whether he felt his move to Sauber has been a good one thus far, Hulkenberg said “It’s a good feeling to be leading a grand prix – it shows you must have done something right. It’s definitely a good sign.”
Hulkenberg added that the car has “potential,” and can easily be developed into a consistent points-scoring car.
Still, with Sauber having scored four podiums a year ago, largely in races where it did well with its tires, there’s still plenty more to extract, he said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.
As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.
NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.
Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.
So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks
2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads
Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.
MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.
MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup
MORE: Stage 13 wrapup
MORE: Stage 12 wrapup
MORE: Stage 11 wrapup
MORE: Stage 10 wrapup
MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions
MORE: Stage 8 wrapup
MORE: Stage 7 wrapup
MORE: Stage 6 wrapup
MORE: Stage 5 wrapup
MORE: Stage 4 wrapup
MORE: Stage 3 wrapup
MORE: Stage 2 wrapup
MORE: Stage 1 wrapup