Having secured only his second scoring finish in five races, Nico Hulkenberg hopes that sixth place at Suzuka can kick-start a strong end to his 2015 F1 season.
The German has endured something of a rollercoaster campaign, with decent points finishes interspersed with lengthy absences from the top ten, but he knows that the Force India VJM08B is good enough for the team to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
“The result at Suzuka was just what I needed after a few unlucky weekends since the summer break,” Hulkenberg insists, “We had good pace, we did our homework and we achieved all we could from the race. It was very satisfying to see how competitive we were and that's given me a confidence boost for the races to come.”
The F1 circus heads to Russia for the second event on the streets around the Winter Olympic park in Sochi this weekend, and Hulkenberg admits to enjoying the quirky venue.
“I had my first experience of Russia last year and enjoyed it,” he confirms, “The unusual venue inside the Olympic Park is pretty cool and the track itself has a nice flow. The lap is quite long, with many similar corners, and that adds to the difficulty of putting together a perfect lap, especially as the final sector is quite technical. It is a big challenge for the drivers.”
Hulkenberg, who has already been confirmed as Force India driver for next season, heads to Sochi eleventh in the standings – just as he seems to be in qualifying these days – just one place and one point behind team-mate Sergio Perez.