Nico Hulkenberg feeling positive ahead of Monaco GP

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Nico Hulkenberg may not have started the season as he would have liked, scoring just five points from the first five races, but the German driver is feeling positive ahead of next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

“In terms of performance, I’m quite positive. We’ve seen that the softer tire compounds suit us quite well, which gives me confidence we’ll have a good weekend,” he said in a team statement.

Sauber has struggled to replicate its 2012 form so far this season. By Monaco last year, the Swiss team had scored 41 points and lay 7th in the constructors’ championship, whereas 2013 has yielded just 5 points in total, but the team is only one position down on 2012. Regardless, it is not the start Hulkenberg may have envisaged, especially after having been linked to Red Bull for 2014.

The German driver is however looking forward to racing at Monaco, with the race being among his favorites.

“I’m really looking forward to the Monaco Grand Prix. The circuit along with the backdrop of the principality are just fantastic, and the atmosphere is one of the best in the season.

“The track is one of a kind with extremely narrow streets that will punish every little mistake. This is a great challenge between me, the car and the track, and I always have a lot of fun driving there.”

In Formula One, Hulkenberg has a mixed record in Monaco. In 2010, he retired early on after a front-wing failure caused him to crash in the tunnel. Last season, when driving for Force India, he impressed many on his way to P8, setting the second-fastest lap of the race. A similar result would be well-received by all at Hinwil, although they will also be keen on Esteban Gutierrez scoring his first points of the season.

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.