Hulkenberg "happy, but not 100% happy"

By on Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nico Hulkenberg has declared himself happy with his return to Formula One but insists that there is still progress to be made.

Hulkenberg, who celebrated his 25th birthday this week, missed the 2011 season.

"I am quite happy with how the season has gone so far. It was a bit difficult in the beginning, but we consistently improved the car and were able to fight for points on many tracks", the German told the Official F1 website. "However, a few more points would have been possible, I guess. Especially in the first few races I had some bad luck, which cost me some better results. So I am happy, but not 100 percent happy."

Hulkenberg also agreed with the prognosis that the Force India VJM05 is lacking in race pace.

"Pace-wise we are still behind Sauber, Williams and all the frontrunners. This means, that we have the chance to beat Williams, Sauber or Mercedes when our weekend goes completely smoothly and they struggle", he said. "In qualifying this happens more often, but in the race they have 50, 60, 70 laps to get their faster cars in front of ours. So our race pace actually shows us where we really are."

The German driver is confident that Force India can finish higher than the current 8th place they occupy.

"Of course. We already showed last year that our development speed is very competitive and I do not see a reason why we shouldn't be able to repeat that again. We're only seven points shy of Williams and I think we can catch them. I don't know whether it’s possible to catch Sauber. It will be difficult, but the whole team will try their very best, that's for sure"

When asked who he thinks will win this year's title, Hulkenberg reckons a Spaniard will make it third time lucky.

"Fernando Alonso, because he's the most consistent driver so far this year and Ferrari's car is no longer so much behind Red Bull’s and McLaren’s as it was at the beginning of the year"

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