Fernando Alonso tipped his hat to Nico Hulkenberg after the Sauber driver claimed a season-best fourth place in the Korean Grand Prix.
Hulkenberg kept the Ferrari driver at bay in the opening stages of the race, then passed Lewis Hamilton after a Safety Car restart and held the Mercedes driver back as well.
Alonso praised Hulkenberg’s “superb” performance, saying: “He is driving very, very well and he deserved to be in front of us because he did a fantastic race.”
Sauber are enjoying a strong second half of the year, thanks in part to the change in tyre compounds at the Hungarian Grand Prix which coincided with the introduction of a revised aerodynamic package for the C32.
Hulkenberg put the car third on the grid in Italy and finished the race fifth. He went one better in Korea, where the team reintroduced an old rear wing which had previously been discarded, and found it was now giving much better performance.
Hulkenberg said his Korean Grand Prix drive was one of the best of his career.
He has scored all of Sauber’s points this year and his latest result means he has single-handedly moved them into seventh in the constructors’ championship, tied with Toro Rosso on 31 points, and ahead by dint of Hulkenberg’s fourth place finish.