Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg is feeling bullish about his prospects for the German Grand Prix after qualifying in tenth place.
Hulkenberg was an encouraging ninth in final practice this morning and maintained that form this afternoon in front of his home fans to make it through to the top-ten shootout.
The decision was then taken not to set a time in Q3 in order to save tyres and give him a free choice of strategy for Sunday's race, the ninth round in the 2013 F1 World Championship.
“To reach Q3 today has been a success for us. I am confident we can achieve a good result tomorrow. Compared to yesterday afternoon, we were able to improve the set-up for free practice this morning. I think we have a package now that allows us to fight for points,” said the German, who managed just that last weekend at Silverstone.
“The long runs yesterday looked promising and, combined with the strategy which I can choose for the start of the race tomorrow, I am confident we can achieve a good result. I didn't set a time in Q3, so I am free to choose my tryes for the start of the race tomorrow. I am convinced that will be an advantage."
“The team told me that P6 was possible today, but today it's Saturday and the race is what counts, as you only get points tomorrow. The soft tyres are quite challenging to handle here, especially with a full tank. We will start in the top ten tomorrow and our goal is to stay in the points,” he added.
Team-mate Esteban Gutierrez meanwhile was also pretty chipper and he will start 14th: “Today is a step forward for us. We worked with a lot of different set-ups yesterday and were able to make the right conclusions from the data we gathered. I was able to attack and get a lot out of the car in qualifying,” said the Mexican.
“However, I still have to improve. Nico did a fantastic lap and it's challenging, but I will keep working to improve my performance level, especially in qualifying. P14 is, along with Malaysia, the highest place I have achieved so far. For tomorrow we have to put a good strategy together in order to improve from there.”
Sauber team principal, Monisha Kaltenborn was clearly relieved, especially in light of recent news the squad is struggling financially
“We are happy with the result today. You can clearly see the car has improved. We could have achieved even more, but we decided to fully focus on the race tomorrow,” she concluded.