After two successful weekends on track, Nico Hulkenberg is hoping to complete a hat-trick with another top ten performance at the Austrian Grand Prix.
The German achieved perhaps the biggest result of a career that already includes F3 and GP3 accolades when he won on debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours last Sunday, but now turns his attention back to the 'day job' as he looks to push Force India to another points finish at the Red Bull Ring.
Having not scored since the season-opening race in Australia, Hülkenberg returned to the F1 top ten last time out in Canada and, with the Austrian circuit bearing some similarities to the Ile Notre Dame, is optimistic that he can add to his meagre tally.
“Finishing in the points in Canada was an important result for me,” Hulkenberg insisted, “I had a great feeling with the car and everything came together nicely, and I think we have a good opportunity for another strong result in Austria.”
The former Oesterreichring's return to the F1 schedule presented a new challenge for Hulkenberg twelve months ago but he responded with ninth place amid claims that the apparently basic layout is not as simple as it appears.
“I had never raced on this track before last year - not even in the junior formulas - so it was a new experience for me,” the multi-series champion confirmed. “It's a fun track and it flows nicely, but there are a few corners that can catch you out, so it's not easy to get a good lap together. It's one of those tracks that looks easier on paper because it's actually quite technical in many areas.”
This weekend will also serve as a 'home' race for the German following the cancellation of the scheduled race at the Nurburgring, and he hopes that his Le Mans success may bring a few extra fans through the gate.
“Austria is a great place to race: the track is in a beautiful setting in the mountains and there's a very relaxed atmosphere. Without the German Grand Prix this year, I expect a lot of German fans to come to Austria, so there should be a big crowd once again.”