15 June 2015
Le Mans win vindicates talent, says Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg believes his success at the Le Mans 24 Hours helps vindicate his ability behind a wheel, as he also expressed praise for his team-mates
Nico Hulkenberg says he believes victory on his first attempt at the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race goes a long way to proving his talent at the highest level of the sport.
The German, along with fellow Le Mans LMP1 rookies Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber, clinched a surprise win in the 2015 round-the-clock event, a result that makes him one of only a handful of drivers to win in the same season of contesting a full F1 season.
Having struggled to land a premier front-running drive in F1, despite several eye-catching performances during his time racing in F1 with Williams, Sauber and currently Force India, when asked whether he thought the win vindicates his talent as a racing driver, he replied 'Yes, I think so'.
Hulkenberg, however, saved praise for his team-mates Tandy, who had only previously driven in GT at Le Mans, and Bamber, the young Kiwi making his Le Mans debut altogether, saying it was an complete team effort.
“We had a car capable of winning and we did it, but that's not just down to me,” he said. “I have two great team-mates who also did an amazing job and this is not a sport where it comes down to one individual, you need everybody in it to be successful. Those 24 hours just went really well for us.”
He also said it was fun to have a car capable of being pushed for the entire 24 hours, the trio notable for the way they kept their lap times consistent throughout.
“It was good, I enjoyed every moment. I had fun out there, these cars are fun to drive - especially round here on a big track like this. For a 24 hour race the pace was really high, we were pushing a lot like you would not believe I think if you think about endurance and a 24 hour race. But it was possible, the car was really good, especially later at night when temperatures came down a bit. It was fun!”
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