Nico Hulkenberg says he enjoys having Sergio Perez alongside him at Force India as they prepare for a third consecutive season as team-mates.
The German enjoyed one of his strongest seasons in F1 last year with a run to tenth in the overall standings, while his unexpected win at the Le Mans 24 Hours for Porsche alongside Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber earned him plaudits across motorsport.
However, though Hulkenberg is well regarded amongst his peers and was linked with a move to both Ferrari and Haas for 2016, he was out-performed by team-mate Perez during the second-half of the 2015, ending up 20 points shy of the Mexican.
Nonetheless, despite the pressure from his Force India counterpart, Hulkenberg – who has started 94 races without climbing onto the F1 podium – enjoys the love-hate relationship he enjoys with Perez on and off the track.
“A good relationship in F1 can be described by a fun word that I just heard the other day,” he told the F1.com
site. “It's called 'frenemy'- a weird mix between friend and enemy. In this environment you'll switch quickly from team spirit to rivalry - and back. It's a wicked, wicked love/hate thing.
“The good thing is we don't have to choose curtains together - I've heard that can be very dangerous for any relationship. But overall I am very happy with my team mate, we get on well together.
In what will be his sixth season of F1, Hulkenberg admits getting that elusive podium finish will be a particular aim when the season gets underway.
“I want to make this my best season in F1: in terms of points and my position at the season's end. And I want to push myself on to the podium - hopefully and finally! For that, I will just do what I do best: drive fast and enjoy what I love doing."