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F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Hulkenberg ends disappointing year with 'good result'

Nico Hulkenberg admits that Force India's success has brought him more pleasure than his own F1 performances in 2015, but vows to come back stronger next year.
Nico Hulkenberg was relieved to bring his Force India home in seventh place at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, cementing his spot in the overall top ten at the end of a campaign he admitted was far from his best.

Despite Force India enjoying an upswing in results following the mid-season introduction of the VJM08B, Hulkenberg fell behind team-mate Sergio Perez in the standings, with four retirements and a DNS blighting the second half of his year. Nevertheless, he converted seventh on the grid at Abu Dhabi into a finish in the same position, adding to seventh in Mexico and sixth in Brazil to end the schedule.

While he helped Force India to accrue another 16 points towards a best-ever fifth place in the constructor' series, Hulkenberg conceded that holding on to his position was a battle for much of the race.

“It was a bit of a struggle at times, and I had a hard job on my hands,” he reported, having completed a strategy that saw him swap the short-lived supersoft Pirellis for two new sets soft rubber during the 55-lap encounter.

“The start was pretty good - everyone went to the inside, so I stuck to the outside. It was a brave move and I was able to make up a few places. However, I had a lot of understeer and it was difficult to get the car to turn in, especially at a track with so many tight corners, so I suffered in the first two stints.

“The final part of the race was a bit better and I was able to get into a rhythm, which was important to keep our position. It was a tough race so it was a really good result to come home with seventh place.”

Allied to Perez's fifth place, the points haul was Force India's best of the season, and Le Mans 24 Hours winner Hulkenberg admitted that the shared results gave him more pleasure than his own showing.

“It's been a good season for the team and we will be aiming to build on it over the winter months,” he concluded, “From a personal point of view, it hasn't been one of my best years, but it gives me an opportunity to learn from what happened and come back stronger. I am already looking forward to 2016 and working hard to make sure we are competitive from the first race of the season.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
29.11.2015 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
27.11.2015 - Free Practice 1, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
28.11.2015 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
27.05.2017 - Free Practice 3, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
27.05.2017 - Free Practice 3, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
27.05.2017 - Women in Motosport programme, Michele Mouton (FRA) FIA Women in Motosport Ambassador, Jean Todt (FRA), President FIA, Tatiana Calderón (COL) DAMS and Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), CEO and Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team
27.05.2017 - Women in Motosport programme, Tatiana Calderón (COL) DAMS, Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), CEO and Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team, Lucia Pennesi, Ferrari Commercial and Marketing Director and Francesca Venturi, Ferrari R&D engineer.
27.05.2017 - Women in Motosport programme, Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team
27.05.2017 - (L-R) Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), CEO and Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team, Michele Mouton (FRA), Matteo Bonciani (ITA), F1 Head of Communications and Claire Williams (GBR) Williams Deputy Team Principal.
27.05.2017 - (L-R) Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), CEO and Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team, Michele Mouton (FRA) and Claire Williams (GBR) Williams Deputy Team Principal.
27.05.2017 - Matteo Bonciani (ITA), F1 Head of Communications
27.05.2017 - Sergey Sirotkin (RUS) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 Third Driver
27.05.2017 - Mercedes AMG F1 W08, detail
27.05.2017 - Mercedes AMG F1 W08, detail
27.05.2017 - Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, detail
27.05.2017 - Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, detail
27.05.2017 - Haas F1 Team VF-17, detail
27.05.2017 - Haas F1 Team VF-17, detail

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Hypoc

December 01, 2015 9:59 AM

Job well done Force India, almost bankrupt before the start of the season and ended up with one of the better cars on the grid. Would have been a 4th in the WCC if they had the VJM08B all season. Hope they are on the grid next year with an equally good car!

107SS2009

December 01, 2015 9:18 PM

Hypoc: Job well done Force India, almost bankrupt before the start of the season and ended up with one of the better cars on the grid. Would have been a 4th in the WCC if they had the VJM08B all season. Hope they are on the grid next year with an equally good car!
If Mercedes had gave them that standard factory cars engine mapping.



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