• Japanese Grand Prix

Hulkenberg 'very happy' with comeback drive

ESPN Staff
October 7, 2012 « Grosjean admits to 'stupid mistake' | Lotus needs to get Grosjean 'under control' - Horner »
Nico Hulkenberg: "If you had told me before the race that we would finish seventh, I would have taken it straight away" © Sutton Images
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Nico Hulkenberg said he was "very happy" to finish seventh at the Japanese Grand Prix after starting 15th on the grid.

Hulkenberg qualified 10th but took a five-place grid penalty after an accident in final practice damaged his gearbox and his team had to change it. However, he mounted a strong comeback in the race, making up several positions at the start and then challenging Lewis Hamilton for position midway through the race.

"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," he said. "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."

Hulkenberg troubled Kimi Raikkonen and Hamilton ahead of him but said by the end of the race he was focusing on keeping Pastor Maldonado's Williams at bay.

"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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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