HUNGARORING, Julio 24, 2014 (F1plus/Katie Grimmett).- As the season reaches its mid-way point, Nico Hulkenberg has evaluated Force India’s performance so far.
“I think we are underachieving and there have been issues, I don’t know which nature, but there were problems”, he admits. “We started really well but we haven’t brought enough updates to be right up there with the top”, he said referencing his four top five positions in the earlier races this year.
Hulkenberg, who is yet to finish outside the points in 2014, also admitted that maintaining this momentum is crucial for the championship fight.
“A lot of people are talking about big issues regarding the engine, like Red Bull. We have an advantage on the engine side but it’s not as big anymore”, he explained. “It will be tricky but never say never. Singapore is quite low speed and normally that has been good for us”.
Speaking a day before Friday practice, the German acknowledged that keeping the McLaren duo, Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button at bay, will be the team’s target after the summer break.
“We are two points apart so it is very close”, the twenty-six-year-old noted. “This will be our biggest competition for the rest of the season so we need to ensure we keep updates coming and develop at the same rate as the other teams otherwise the risk is there that we will fall behind”.
After taking into consideration the pace and reliability of the VJM07, Hulkenberg admitted that the championship standings do reflect their performance level this year. Force India currently sits eighteen points adrift of fourth placed Ferrari.
“We are fifth, we were fourth for a long, long time and even third after Bahrain. I think that’s where we belong”, he accepted.
“Making steps towards the right direction must be the aim”.