Nico Hulkenberg praised Force India for executing a two-stop strategy that saw him finish fifth in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

While the majority of the field opted for a three-stop strategy, Hulkenberg led briefly in the first stint as he attempted to stop just twice despite the high temperatures at Sepang. The move paid off as he was elevated to fourth after his final stop and - although he dropped behind Fernando Alonso late on - Hulkenberg said it was a "great" result for the team.

"Today was a super team effort and I'm very happy with fifth place," Hulkenberg said. "We were the only team among the frontrunners to do a two-stop race and we had good pace all afternoon. It shows that the team's hard work over the winter is paying off and it feels great to be so competitive and fighting up at the front.

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"We showed that we could manage the tyres well, although I felt a bit more comfortable on the medium compound tyres than on the hards, but we always had the tyre management under control. So I'm feeling happy that we can take all these positives to Bahrain and leave Malaysia with a good helping of points."

It was Hulkenberg's second top-six finish in a row, and team principal Vijay Mallya praised his driver's performance.

"Nico's fifth place today is a fantastic result for the team," Mallya said. "He didn't put a wheel out of place and managed the race perfectly to complete a two-stop strategy. In the end we didn't have the performance left in the hard tyres to hold off Alonso, but it's encouraging to see us finish 36 seconds ahead of the sixth place McLaren."