• Belgian Grand Prix

Hulkenberg dreamt of podium

ESPN Staff
September 2, 2012 « 'I couldn't go anywhere' - Hamilton | Grosjean accepts penalty and apologises »
Nico Hulkenberg was competitive throughout to beat both Felipe Massa and Mark Webber to fourth © Getty Images

Nico Hulkenberg was understandably pleased with his fourth place in the Belgian Grand Prix but admitted he was entertaining thoughts of finishing on the podium.

A first lap crash saw Hulkenberg emerge in third place at the end of the first lap, and after the safety car period he soon passed Kimi Raikkonen for second. Having started on the harder tyre, Hulkenberg pitted twice while the likes of Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel one-stopped, but he said the strategy was the best one for Force India.

"It's been quite an exciting race and a better result," Hulkenberg said. "It was quite eventful; starting with the start with a lot of cars and parts flying around. I had quite a poor start which was maybe good afterwards because I was quite far back and took advantage quite nicely.

"I was up a high as second and for a while I was even thinking we could finish on the podium. But the race was tough; I had some great fights with Kimi and Michael, and I was always on the limit. For us it was clear that we had to stop twice and we made the strategy work."

With Monza following on immediately next weekend, Hulkenberg hopes the performance will carry over to the Italian Grand Prix.

"I hope so, we should be happy with today's result but we shouldn't get overexcited. I think the car's performance was reflected and shown properly yesterday in qualifying and that tells us that we're I think just around the top ten but not fully in there by our own strengths. But we'll try to make some tweaks, changes and make it a little bit better."