A1 Team Germany extended their lead at the top of the A1 Grand Prix standings with a pair of strong points finishes at Sentul, even if Niko Hulkenberg was at a loss to explain why his drop off in pace midway through the race prevented him from taking a third win of the season.

Starting the sprint race from third place, Hulkenberg did not get the start he needed to and instead slipped to sixth by the first corner behind Mexico, USA and Australia, a position he would hold until the final lap when he battled his way past Ryan Briscoe for fifth place.

However, with the heavens having opened for the feature race, Hulkenberg was immediately in his element, showcasing the kind of supreme wet weather form that saw him claim a crushing win at an equally sodden Sepang only two weeks before.

Getting up to second place early on, Hulkenberg eventually found his way past Jonny Reid for the lead and set about establishing a lead before pitting soon after for slick tyres.

With the track still slippery in places though, Hulkenberg became victim to stepping out of line once, sliding off the circuit and bouncing across the gravel trap but managing to maintain a lead.

However, at this stage in the race Hulkenberg had no answer to the pace of the rapidly closing Reid and on lap 26 lost the lead of the race to the New Zealander as he struggled with an ill-handling car.

Nonetheless, changes to the car during the second pit stop helped him recover some of the lost pace and although a late safety car backed the field up, Hulkenberg was unable to find a way past Reid.

"I got a pretty good start and was immediately behind Jonny. I could see nothing, it was so hard to work out the braking points and that was why it took so long until I overtook Jonny or he made a mistake. I didn't see a lot so when I overtook him I had a very good car and everything was fine.

"On my second set of tyres I made a mistake and I don't know what was wrong the car was much worse. I had oversteer, understeer and it was just much, much worse than before.

"It was very slippery to the end and there was a lot of power oversteer because it was still not dry, but we had changed the slicks and from the beginning to the first corner I knew it was a lot better there was a lot more grip from the first corner."

Still, a fifth and a second place finish has allowed Germany to extend their championship lead further to twelve points over Great Britain, with Hulkenberg now having finished inside the top five in each of the eight races he has finished this season.

 

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