Force India team principal Vijay Mallya says he is extremely proud of Nico Hulkenberg's achievement of winning Le Mans 24 Hours on his debut with Porsche and hopes the German driver can use the victory as a motivator for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Mallya attended the prestigious endurance event over the weekend to support his Formula 1 driver and was blown away by the spectacle at the Circuit de la Sarthe. Moving on towards Spielberg he is confident Hulkenberg can carry the success into the Red Bull Ring.

"Of course, this weekend's race is the first event to take place after Nico's incredible Le Mans victory," Mallya said. "The 24 Hours is one of the great spectacles of motorsport. It is an amazing race that demands total commitment from drivers and cars.

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"Nico's performance displayed his immense talent and made all of us at Sahara Force India proud. I truly hope he will be boosted by this success and translate it into another great performance in Austria."

The Force India boss also says his team is on course for developments with its VJM08 at the British Grand Prix, the race immediately after Austria, on the 3-5 July.

"There's been a lot of talk about the development of the VJM08 and we are still on course to introduce an important step in Silverstone next month," he added. "In the meantime, the team has done well to squeeze more performance from our current package.

"The high-speed layout of Canada certainly played to the strengths of the Mercedes engine and, as Austria is regarded as another power circuit, I would like to think we can be in the top ten once again."


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I wonder how he (NH) will find going from tyres he could race on to F1's pieces of jokey junk?

Still - at least he can walk around the paddock with a smile "been there, done that, won that".

@ Sunny - Hahahahahahaha - I just hope there's not the rain this year that stopped the WEC race last year at COTA

richard: i am delighted for hulk. but it is funny....from most reports it would appear that he alone won the race. two lesser known drivers...tandy and bamber... also contributed to the win.[\blockquote]

richard, having managed to get full coverage (and managed about 18 hours between naps), the 19 car's performance was just about unblemished. Both Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber were every bit as strong as NH - But, of course Hulkenberg is the first active F1 driver to win since Johnny Herbert in '91, so it's not so surprising that the press focus on him.

Was yet another great race - even down to getting rain in last 30 minutes!

Roll on September at Austin.