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Italian Grand Prix: Hulkenberg: Not the worst time for good result

Nico Hulkenberg produced the surprise performance of Italian GP qualifying, and admits that his timing could not have been better as he seeks to move up the grid in 2014.
Nico Hulkenberg has admitted that claiming third place on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix could not have come at a better time as the F1 'silly season' plays out.

With Ferrari still to sort out its driver line-up for 2014, and the German being mentioned in the same breath as Kimi Raikkonen and current incumbent Felipe Massa, Hulkenberg agreed that out-performing the factory cars on their home circuit could only help his cause as he seeks to finally land a front-running ride.

“I can only influence [decisions] by performing very well and, obviously, today's result is not the worst,” he conceded, “For me, it's just important to focus on my competitiveness and my performance and that will make the rest easier – but, probably, the timing is not the worst at this moment.

The Sauber driver had not enjoyed the smoothest start to his Monza weekend, sitting out much of Friday practice, and admitted that he was as surprised as anyone with his result in qualifying.

“I didn't expect it, especially after a very difficult Friday,” he confirmed, “Yesterday, we struggled a lot with the car, we were trying some different bits and bobs, but the guys have done a fantastic job to turn the car around and give me such a competitive car today.

“It was just that Q1, Q2, Q3, the car just got better and better, I think, with the track improvement and with the right decision just to go for one timed lap, fuelled for one timed lap, was the right call.”

With Sergio Perez having finished on the Monza podium twelve months ago, Hulkenberg's performance will have raised hopes in the Sauber camp, although both team and driver will also be aware of what happened to Williams' Valtteri Bottas after a similar qualifying performance in Canada.

“Last year is a very different year,” Hulkenberg admitted, “Obviously, Sauber was very competitive very often in races [but], this year, we have been struggling more. We've had a more difficult year, let's put it this way.

“I hope that the long run pace is good [this weekend]. From what I could see yesterday, it should be all right. I think I'd like it to stay dry too, to be honest - that would be the easier option, but we'll take it as it comes. We haven't run in wet or intermediate conditions, so it will be new to everyone. Obviously, [rain is] more challenging but I'm open-minded. I don't think we can challenge these guys but points are definitely now the target.”



Tagged as: Monza , Nico Hulkenberg , Sauber

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
07.09.2013- Free practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
07.09.2013- Qualifying celebration Pole Position Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9, 2nd Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9, 3rd Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
06.09.2013- Free practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
07.09.2013- Free practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
24.08.2014- Race, Peter Sauber (SUI), Sauber F1 Team motorhome
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 with Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
24.08.2014- Race, Press conference, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 with Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
24.08.2014- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03
24.08.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
24.08.2014- Race, Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33
24.08.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
24.08.2014-Race, Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33 and Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
24.08.2014-Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 race winner, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
24.08.2014-Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
24.08.2014-Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05

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