Nico Hulkenberg was pleased to score his best result of the 2015 Formula 1 season so far by coming sixth in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix, believing it to be the highest he could finish.
Hulkenberg returned to his F1 duties with Force India just one week on from winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Porsche, but showed few signs of fatigue by qualifying fifth on Saturday.
The German driver made a good start in the race to hold on to fifth place, but was passed by Williams’ Valtteri Bottas ahead of the first round of pit stops.
From then on, Hulkenberg went unchallenged en route to finishing sixth, marking his best result of the year.
“I’m very satisfied with sixth place today,” Hulkenberg said. “Going into the race we always knew it would be difficult to keep the Williams of Bottas behind me, so bringing the car home in sixth was probably the maximum we could achieve.
“Overall it’s been a great weekend: I found a nice rhythm and I have been very happy with the performance of the car. With Checo in the points as well, it’s been an excellent weekend for us and we can be proud of what we’ve achieved. It’s an important boost ahead of Silverstone where we hope to make another step forward.”
As Hulkenberg mentioned, teammate Sergio Perez bounced back from a Q1 exit on Saturday to finish ninth in the race and score two points.
“Considering our position on the grid, it was a good race,” Perez said. “I think we could have been a couple of places ahead if everything had gone to plan, but it’s still a good result.”
Force India will be hoping to carry this momentum into its home grand prix at Silverstone in two weeks’ time. Although the team does have an Indian owner and races under an Indian licence, its base is just minutes away from the British Grand Prix circuit.