Sahara Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg collected six points after finishing seventh while his team-mate Paul di Resta returned pointless at 12th spot in the Japanese Grand Prix Formula One race here today.
Suzuka: Sahara Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg collected six points after finishing seventh while his team-mate Paul di Resta returned pointless at 12th spot in the Japanese Grand Prix Formula One race here today.
Story first published on: Sunday, 07 October 2012 17:55
Hulkenberg improved four places from his 11th place start at the grid to end the 53-lap race in 1:29:47.401.
Di Resta clocked 1:30:19.702 to finish just behind retiring great Michael Schumacher at the race which saw elimination of championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari after being hit by Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus at the first corner.
Hulkenberg is now at the 14th spot in the Drivers' Championship with 37 points while di Resta is 12th with 44 points.
Sahara Force India is at seventh with 81 points in the Constructors' Championship headed by Red Bull Racing (324 points).
Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan of HRT did not finish the race after being on the wheels for 32 laps.
Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull won the race to become the first man this year to score back-to-back victories as he slashed Alonso's championship lead to just four points with five races left.
Hulkenberg was satisfied with his seventh place finish.
"If you had told me before the race that we would finish seventh, I would have taken it straight away - so I'm very happy with today's result. I made a great start, moving ahead of several cars and was able to keep out of the trouble in turn one. By the end of lap one I was already in eighth and as it turned out we had good pace," he said.
"The car felt strong throughout the race: there was a nice balance and I was able to chase Lewis and Kimi hard and put pressure on them. They edged away towards the end and for the closing laps I just had to make sure I kept ahead of Maldonado. So another seventh place - a well-deserved result for the team after a tough weekend for the mechanics and six important points for the championship," he added.
His partner di Resta said he lost ground early and couldn't recover but hoped to come good in the next race.
"Quite a testing race for me. Things started to go wrong on the parade lap when I had a clutch issue, so it was not a big surprise when I made a poor getaway off the line. Going into turn one I was almost at the back of the field so I was able to stay out of trouble and avoid the accidents ahead of me. But when you lose so much ground at the start it's difficult to recover," he said.
"I was always in traffic and without running in clean air I couldn't really show the potential of the car. We were not too far away with the set-up, but I never really found the sweet spot during the race. Hopefully I can go to Korea and get back in the points," he added.