Nico Hulkenberg says he is hopeful of seeing Force India fight for more points in the Monaco Grand Prix having declared himself pleased with the progress made by the team in recent Spanish Grand Prix.
Like its rivals up and down the paddock, the team introduced new parts for the first race of the European F1 season, with Hulkenberg ending the race in tenth place to score his second points finish of the year.
Heading to the streets of Monte Carlo, the German said he was confident of once again being able to push towards the top ten as Force India works to extract more from the upgrades on a circuit he admits he enjoys.
“I think we have taken a good step forward with the developments we made for Spain and they will continue to help us in Monaco,” he said. “We still have work to do to understand and fine-tune them along with the set-up, so that is something the team is working on. When you see how close the teams around us are it can really make a difference to find even the smallest gain.
“I enjoy the challenge of Monaco. There's no part of the lap where you can relax for a second – even the main straight is not really a straight. I do like street racing in general because you need to grow with the car over the sessions to find the limits. If you get it right you're only a few centimetres from the barrier so there's no margin for error.”
Team boss Vijay Mallya agreed that the smallest of improvements could mean a big step forward for the team this weekend and said that anything could be possible given the unique challenge Monaco provides.
“I would love to see us performing well this weekend and challenging for points once again,” he said. “We've certainly made progress with the car lately, but the whole grid remains very closely matched. Just a couple of tenths can separate ten positions on the grid so nobody can afford to take anything for granted.
“We also know that Monaco can be an unpredictable race so anything is possible. Our focus will be on making sure we qualify well to get track position for Sunday.”