Austrian GP qualifying: Fifth place on the grid for Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg: "This track can sometimes spring surprises and we still don’t know what the weather will do tomorrow"

Sahara Force India enjoyed a strong showing at Spielberg today as Nico Hulkenberg qualified in P5 for tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix. Teammate Sergio Perez suffered with heavy traffic during Q1 and ended the session in P16.

Nico Hulkenberg VJM08-01

Q1: 1:11.319 Q2: 1:09.604 Q3: 1:09.278 - P5

Nico: “I’m feeling very happy with how things went today. We knew we had a good chance to be in the top ten, so to be starting in fifth place is an excellent effort by the team. Q1 was fun on the drying track, but in Q2 and Q3 I found a really good rhythm and was able to deliver the laps when it mattered. I’m feeling happy and confident in the car at the moment and I think that showed with the result today. Tomorrow will be a tough race because there are some quick cars behind us, but we’ve already built a good foundation for a strong race. This track can sometimes spring surprises and we still don’t know what the weather will do tomorrow, but if we maximise things I’m sure we can score some good points.”

Sergio Perez VJM08-02 - P16

Q1: 1:12.522

Sergio: “It's very disappointing to drop out in Q1, especially because we had the potential to get a very good result. Today was quite a challenge on the drying track and it was not easy to find a good position and build up the right rhythm. Unfortunately, with the track getting faster and faster towards the end of Q1, the last lap was the one that had to count. I found myself right behind Fernando [Alonso] and I spent the whole lap behind him. I couldn't get any closer as I would have lost all my downforce, and I had Kimi [Raikkonen] behind me so I couldn't drop back. It made it very difficult for me and in the end I was less than a tenth off the time I needed to make Q2. Despite today's result, I still feel positive about tomorrow: it's going to be complicated starting just outside the top ten, but if we do a good job we should be able to make up the lost ground.”

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: “Fifth place on the grid for Nico is a tremendous effort and a well-deserved result for the team. The car has been performing well here and Nico had a great run this afternoon putting together some fantastic laps. It’s a shame that Sergio was not able to join him in the top ten, but those sessions on a drying track are always a bit of a lottery and on this occasion he just missed out. With some other cars picking up penalties we expect him to start from P13, so there’s every chance to progress and challenge for points. Our long run pace yesterday looked competitive and we also need to keep an eye on the weather with the possibility of more rain tomorrow.”

Sahara Force India

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Austrian GP
Sub-event Saturday qualifying
Track Red Bull Ring
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg , Sergio Perez
Teams Force India
Article type Qualifying report