Niko Hulkenberg is predicting an exciting race as Germany embark on their first ever pole position in A1 Grand Prix, the teenager overcoming tricky track conditions at Taupo to break the team's duck.

Belying their triumphant pace on race day, qualifying, although consistently inside the top five, has proved to be the one area where Hulkenberg has been unable to secure that elusive top spot, his two wins instead coming from positions further down the grid.

Nonetheless, while his pace in the first two segments suggested nothing would change as he struggled with grip on the slippery circuit, Hulkenberg hit form and surged to the top of the timesheets in sessions three and four, crucially just as the circuit began to reach its optimum conditions.

As a result, Hulkenberg turned a significant deficit into pole position by a comfortable three tenths of a second over France and New Zealand, leaving the championship leader confident of claiming his third win of the season to extend his advantage.

"Finally my first pole position - a fantastic feeling! There was a touring car practice session just before our qualifying, and they kicked a lot of sand onto the track. The sun also disappeared behind the clouds, so it was difficult for me to get the tyres up to temperature.

"After making the first couple of runs on one set of tyres we changed the tyre pressure in the second and third sets and I drove more aggressively on the warm-up lap. There's absolutely no grip off-line - we'll have to be very precise. It'll be an exciting race."

 

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