Force India's Hulkenberg now wants podium finish

Sep 04, 2012, 10:55 IST | Vivek Ajinkya

Sahara Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg has set his sights on a podium finish in the India Grand Prix later this year, after missing out narrowly in Spa-Francorchamps

The 25-year-old German finished in fourth position behind winner Jenson Button (McLaren), runner-up Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) and Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) in Sunday’s crash-hit Belgian GP.

Hulkenberg said his team is motivated to do well in owners Vijay Mallya and Subrata Roy’s country.

Nico Hulkenberg

“I dream about the podium. That’s what I want and that’s what the whole team wants. Yesterday, we weren’t so far off the podium. But it’s going to be a difficult one, with eight races to go. And we will certainly try our very best. It will be brilliant and perfect if we can achieve that in our home race in India (October 28). I can’t guarantee, but I can promise that the team will try as hard as we can,” Hulkenberg told reporters via a telephonic conference yesterday.

“It would be a dream for the drivers, for the shareholders and for the whole team. It would be a big success. But I think we still have a lot of work in front of ourselves to achieve that (podium finish in India). But we will try,” said Hulkenberg about the importance of doing well at the Buddh International Circuit. The drivers will return to action for Italian Grand Prix next week.

Hulkenberg praised his team’s efforts in Belgium, but admitted his cause was aided by the first corner crash that saw championship leader Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Romain Grosjean (Lotus), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) and Sergio Perez (Sauber) exit the race. Grosjean was later held responsible for the incident and was punished with a one-race ban and 50,000 euros fine.

“This is a great result for us. We obviously profited from the start accident with cars crashing out. Still after that we showed good pace. We were able to fight Ferrari and Lotus. It was a well-deserved fourth place in the end. It was a very good show, and very good lap times, which kept us right up there all the time.”
Hulkenberg’s teammate Paul Di Resta also finished within points with a 10th place finish.  

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