Hulkenberg: Beating Williams a ‘small miracle’


Nico Hulkenberg carried his Le Mans form over to qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix and he will start Sunday's race in fifth position, one place ahead of one of the Williams cars.

The German won the prestigious Le Mans race with Porsche last weekend and Force India admitted in the run-up to the Austrian race that they were hoping it would give the team a boost.

And that's exactly what Hulkenberg did on Saturday as he was fifth fastest in qualifying, beating Valtteri Bottas from Williams in the process.

Asked by Sky if he thought he would start so high up, he replied: "No, not that far up. A top ten result was possible, the car has been good this weekend. Fifth though is a surprise for us. Even beating one Williams is a small miracle, great performance today. Just have to do it again now tomorrow!"

This weekend's race marks the last for the current VJM08 as the team will launch their B-spec car at the in-season test at the Red Bull Ring this week, before racing it at Silverstone in a fortnight.

It means the current model hasn't had too many upgrades in recent weeks, but having a Mercedes engine in the car definitely helped their cause at power hungry circuits like Montreal and Austria.

"Montreal and here are power tracks, so the engine is very important and we definitely have the right engine," he said. 

"We also have the soft tyres which help us a lot on our car. But in the last couple of races, we've also learned a lot about the car, we understand it better and we know how to set it up to get around some of the weaknesses. And then building up confidence as a driver around the track, specially here, is very important."