Seventh placed qualifier Nico Hulkenberg is anticipating a battle with McLaren drivers Sergio Perez and Jenson Button during the Indian Grand Prix.
The Sauber driver has scored 32 points across the last four races and reckons that the McLaren drivers – who qualified on the prime tyres – will be close to him on track.
“Overall it was quite a good qualifying,” said Hulkenberg.
“P7 is a good position for tomorrow, and I expect a close battle with the McLarens. They chose a different approach by qualifying on the hard tyre, we qualified on the soft, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.”
“In the race we have to see how we get on with the soft tyres, as they didn’t look too good in free practice yesterday. Since then we have improved the car, so they should last a bit longer. The long runs on the medium tyre looked good.”
Perez says that he aims to take advantage of option runners – such as Hulkenberg – during the opening stints of the race.
“Clearly, we’re on a different strategy to most of the other cars, so it’ll be very interesting to see what we can do on the Prime tomorrow,” said the Mexican. “There are four other cars inside the top 10 starting on the Prime, so we’ll be looking to take the advantage if the Option-runners pit during the early laps tomorrow.”
“I think we have a good chance in the race. Our long-run pace looks pretty strong – so, with a good strategy, I think we can do well tomorrow.”
Button will start from 10th, behind team-mate Perez.
“Our qualifying runs on the Option looked really good – I was quickest in Q1 – but the Prime tyre didn’t work as well for us. I found it more difficult because I couldn’t get any temperature into the tyre, so I was about half a second off in the first sector on my run in Q3,” he said.