Hulkenberg: One of the best drives of my career

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An elated Nico Hulkenberg has heralded his charge to fourth in the Korean Grand Prix as one of the best drives of his career so far, equalling his best-ever result in a grand prix as well as claiming Sauber’s best result of the season.

Having started seventh, Hulkenberg made a good start to lie fifth and lead a train of cars including Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Mark Webber. Despite their best efforts, the German driver remained ahead until after the second safety car period. On the restart, he made good use of the Sauber’s strong straight line speed to overtake fourth-placed Lewis Hamilton before defending valiantly from the Mercedes in the eighteen laps that followed.

“Today I drove one of the best races in my career so far,” Hulkenberg said. “I have had cars in the mirrors before, but today there were a lot and it was a bit annoying. Lewis really put the pressure on at the end, especially in the last sector. I knew I needed to get out of turn one well. The car’s traction was very good today, so that kept me alive against Fernando and then Lewis later on.”

Sauber have endured a difficult season amid financial uncertainty, and team principal Monisha Kaltenborn made no secret of her happiness following the race.

“We went into the race with high expectations and it is a great feeling that we were able to meet these through our own strengths,” she said. “Nico put in a superb performance and, once again, great fight, as it definitely was not easy to keep those cars behind him.”

Esteban Gutierrez also equalled his best-ever result in Formula One down in eleventh, capping off a good weekend for the team.

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”