• Japanese Grand Prix

Hulkenberg philosophical about lost places

ESPN Staff
October 13, 2013 « 2012 crash played on Grosjean's mind at start | Rosberg slams Perez for chicane clash »
Kimi Raikkonen got by Nico Hulkenberg on the penultimate lap © Sutton Images
Related Links

Nico Hulkenberg was philosophical about losing out to Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen late in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Having made a strong start and an early pit stop, Hulkenberg was up to fourth place after the final round of pit stops but was unable to hold Alonso at bay and then dropped to sixth when Raikkonen passed him two laps from the end. Despite being unable to repeat the defensive drive to fourth he had achieved in Korea, Hulkenberg said the result was still one to be pleased with.

"We shouldn't be too disappointed, I think we did everything we could," Hulkenberg said. "At the end my tyres were just giving up a little bit. We were fighting obviously all through the race, just after a stop I was surprised I was able to pull away a bit from Fernando but I think he was also probably saving his tyre a bit for the end. It's a solid team result; sixth and seventh, that's good news."

Asked if Sauber's performance had been a surprise to him, Hulkenberg replied: "Actually yeah.

"Already going to the grid I said to my engineer 'The car feels very good today for some reason'. Normally my feeling is not as good so I was confident and hopeful for the race as the car feels good. So a bit surprised again that we were so competitive for a long distance over the race. Again I kept both Ferraris behind me for a long, long time, even if it was not enough in the end it was good."

Looking ahead to India - a track where Sauber's traction and good top speed should be important - Hulkenberg said he hopes to repeat the recent strong results.

"I'm really confident. India is another track where we should be OK and I think again there we should be able to fight for points."