The Sahara Force India squad is hoping that Nico Hulkenberg’s home race this weekend goes a lot better than the home race of teammate Paul DiResta went at Silverstone three weeks ago, as di Resta retired after first-lap contact with Romain Grosjean.
Hulkenberg grew up an hour from the Hockenheim layout and ran his first race there in 2005, competing in the Formula BMW Series. Hulkenberg, who is 16th in the point standings, but just a single digit behind Bruno Senna for 15th, is looking for some home cooking to give his season a much-needed shot in the arm.
“Since (2005) I’ve raced there a lot in Formula 3 and I also raced there in Formula One with Williams in 2010. It’s a track I know very well and I enjoy the layout, although it’s a relatively short lap,” Hulkenberg said. “I think the most challenging corner to get right is turn one. It’s a quick right-hander that we take at well above 200 km/h and there is a tricky curb on the exit. Another important part of the lap is getting the hairpin right. If you get your braking wrong it’s easy to run wide and it’s the main opportunity for overtaking.”
Di Resta is faring better in 2012, not withstanding the problem at Silverstone. The Brit is just two points out of the top 10 in the championship, and is leading the team’s charge in the manufacturer points as they try to run down Sauber and Williams for sixth and seventh respectively.
“It’s satisfying to see that we are consistent top ten performers,” said team principal and managing director Dr. Vijay Mallya. “We need that little bit of extra luck to get on the podium. Having said that, our immediate competitors didn’t have too much luck either – Perez and Maldonado were both going well, but they didn’t score. Sauber didn’t get any more points to increase their lead over us. We are still only three points adrift of Williams and 16 behind Sauber, so we have reasons to be optimistic going forward.”