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Hulkenberg ready to bounce back in Malaysia

Nico Hulkenberg is chasing a top ten result in Malaysia this weekend to confirm his belief that Sauber can be a consistent points scorer in F1 2013.
Nico Hulkenberg is convinced that he could have scored points on his debut with the Sauber team, had a fuel system failure not sidelined him before the start of the Australian Grand Prix.

The German had been due to line up eleventh on the grid for the race in Melbourne, and the best-placed of those drivers eligible for a free tyre choice after qualifying, but his C32 never even left the garage, as an issue with the fuel system led to his entry being withdrawn on safety grounds.

“Basically a vacuum developed inside the tank, which did some damage to it and, ultimately, stopped us from running,” Hulkenberg explained to the official F1 website, “During qualifying [on Sunday morning], there were absolutely no signs of any damage, [but] I came back from the drivers' parade and was told that there was a grave problem with the car. The engine was out, the whole car was apart. I was shocked [but] it was not safe, so there was absolutely no way of going into the race.”

Being forced to watch a grand prix is a painful experience for any F1 driver, but the performance of Hulkenberg's team-mate, rookie Esteban Gutierrez, only helped confirm that the German could have been a threat for points on race day.

“I spoke to him afterwards, about how everything was, how the car and the tyres felt, how things were developing in the course of the race, [so] I got his impressions and his feedback,” the former Williams and Force India driver confirmed, “If you take the long-run data from Friday, we were basically in the same range as Force India but, as I have not participated in the race, it would be reading the crystal ball to make a statement [on our performance].

“Let's wait and see this weekend. Maybe it brings more of an answer, though it will definitely not be the final one. What I think is that we could have definitely raced for points [in Australia]. Every outing on a track brings information [and], unfortunately, we do not have a race experience together, [but] I have done F1 races before. Sure, all the information, the communication and the pit-stops, I am missing that from Melbourne, so it's not ideal, but we will definitely catch up this weekend. I'm going into the weekend somewhat blind, but nevertheless we are targeting a top-ten result.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
17.03.2013- Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
16.03.2013- Qualifying, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
16.03.2013- Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
15.03.2013- Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
16.03.2013- Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
17.03.2013- Qualifying, Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Williams F1 Team FW35 leads Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
12.10.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, the start
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Vitaly Mutko (RUS) Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in the press conference after the race
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 celebrates Manufactor title of Mercedes with the team
12.10.2014- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
12.10.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014-  Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 with a fan
12.10.2014- Fabiana Flosi (BRA)

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