Nico Hulkenberg says he will keep pushing for points this season with Force India, even though the team ahead of them is Sauber — his employer for the 2013 season.
Hulkenberg’s comments come in an exclusive Q&A at the Formula 1 site. A few excerpts:
Q: What attracted you to Sauber?
NH: For me they are going through a very positive development curve. Last year they already looked very good, although they did not have such a strong car then, and this year they’ve had four podium finishes, on one or two occasions missing the win just by a small margin. So this is a very good performance, and since Formula One is very much performance driven, this was the main trigger to me.
Q: Force India are strong midfield contenders this season and catching Sauber in P6 seems possible. Are you feeling any conflict of interest there?
NH: This is a fair question, but no. I have to thank Force India, and especially [team boss] Vijay [Mallya] for picking me up after 2010, giving me a chance again and putting trust in me. For this reason I want to repay them. So for me there is no doubt that I am committed to Force India for the three remaining races of this season. What happens next year is a totally different story, but as for this year I am totally focused on my job here and nothing has changed for me in this respect. The only conflict of interest I know is between me and my ambitions. (laughs)
Q: Five points ahead of your team mate. Does that mean anything?
NH: It is common knowledge that the first guy to beat is always your team mate, so it is important. But there are still three races to go and things can still change. Of course, my goal is also to finish these three races on a positive note with some points, and for sure to try and finish ahead of my team mate – just like he wants to finish ahead of me. Between Paul [Di Resta] and myself there is a great competition. We are pushing each other’s limits – and therefore the team – very hard. But we still have a healthy and very good relationship.
Anyone else thinking that the competitive nature of Nico and Di Resta’s relationship will be amped up a bit these next three races? Can anyone remember the last time two teammates ran into each other? (Red Bull fans, that’s a joke!) I might just keep my eyes on how their races develop over qualifying and then once the lights go out on Sunday.