• German Grand Prix

Tyre degradation hampers Hulkenberg

ESPN Staff
July 22, 2012 « Webber mystified by lack of pace | Puncture was 'cruel luck' - Hamilton »
Nico Hulkenberg slipped back five places from his starting position © Sutton Images

Nico Hulkenberg highlighted tyre degradation as the reason why he slipped to ninth place in the German Grand Prix.

Having started fourth on the grid, Hulkenberg ran competitively in the top ten for much of the race. However, he completed a three-stop strategy which saw him drop to tenth before passing his team-mate Paul di Resta late on, but Hulkenberg said the tyre degradation was too severe to carry out a two-stop race.

"We always knew it was going to be tough to hang on to fourth place because we did not look especially strong in the dry conditions on Saturday morning," Hulkenberg said. "But when you're in that position you hope for the best and actually the first part of the race was strong for me and I had some good battles. In terms of strategy, doing three stops was the way forward because a two-stop race was not possible with the way the tyres were degrading. So it's good to come away with some points but I was certainly hoping for a bit more from my home race."

Team principal Vijay Mallya admitted he had hoped for more than just two points but said they were still important as Force India is now only a point behind seventh-placed Williams in the constructors' championship.

"Two important points scored today, but we were hoping for more considering our strong starting positions," Mallya said. "We split the strategies with Nico stopping three times and Paul [di Resta] doing a two-stop race, and there was little to choose between them in the end. Both drivers battled hard, but it was difficult to defend on such an open track where it is easy to overtake. With today's result we have moved within a point of Williams in the championship and hopefully we can continue our points run in Hungary next weekend."