Hulkenberg enjoying “my best year in F1”

2014 F1 season

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Nico Hulkenberg has described his 2014 campaign as his best so far in Formula One.

The Force India driver has scored points in all ten races so far, a feat only one other driver – Fernando Alonso – has equalled.

Hulkenberg is seventh in the championship with 69 points, 40 more than team mate Sergio Perez.

“So far it’s been a great season,” said Hulkenberg, “my best year in Formula One and the best year for the team too”.

“The car has worked well on every kind of track so if we keep working as we are I think we can have a strong second half of the year as well. There are still some developments to come, mainly on the aero side, so that will help us stay competitive.”

Force India are also enjoying their best season so far. Team principal Vijay Mallya said “the whole team should feel proud of our performance in the first half of the season”.

“We’ve scored 39 points more compared to the first half of last season and that’s an indication of our consistency. We’ve picked up points in every race and we’re in the middle of a very close fight in the championship.

“We are pushing hard to be even more competitive, but we’ve certainly delivered in the first ten races.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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38 comments on “Hulkenberg enjoying “my best year in F1””

  1. It’s incredible what Force India are doing: for a team that allegedly has the third smallest budget (after Marussia and Caterham), the reliability and consistency of their performance is amazing, even holding second place in the constructors’ at one point in the season. Yes, they have a Mercedes engine, but unlike McLaren they are definitely getting the most out of it.

    Moving on to Hulkenberg, this season and last season have made me become a Hulkenberg fan. Usually I’m not the sort of person who supports one driver (Trulli being the exception), but I even bought a Hulkenberg T-shirt earlier this year. His performances this year have not been very eye-catching, but I’d rather see a driver getting points consistently than having a podium one race and having two avoidable crashes in two consecutive races. Hope he gets to drive for a championship-fighting team some day.

    1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
      22nd July 2014, 11:09


    2. Do they really have the 3rd smallest budget? Can someone give me a small piece of info about each team’s budget? In a recent blog it said that Williams had the 3rd smallest budget followed by Sauber. I’m really interested in these, I just want to know which team gets the best out of their resources.

    3. +1 for Force India
      +100 for Trulli

  2. I don’t see how FI will be able to finish higher than 6th in the constructors championship. Williams has already overhauled them and Mclaren should catch and pass them in the next couple of races. FI simply don’t have the monies to keep up the pace of development. Sorry Hulk. You had a great chance for a podium, but Sergio took it. I doubt you would have another chance this season.

    1. Monza.

      1. Mclaren will out-develop Force India by the time Monza comes around. So, FI will have to outdo the Mercs, Williams, Redbull, and Mclaren to put one of their cars in the top 3.

        1. @rojov123

          Hard to say. We’ve seen Mclaren go backwards more often than not as the season rolls on.

          Additionally, Hulk is a better driver than Button and Magnussen put together, so I wouldn’t completely rule out a podium for him

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      22nd July 2014, 11:37

      Wait until it rains…

      1. … And better sooner than later, Spa for example? :)

        1. I guess Spa has the best chance of rain from the next few races. Tends to be quite variable weather.

      2. @william-brierty Force India has tyre warm up issues. So, if it ranis, they will not be able to fight anywhere in the top 10 on merit. On the other hand, if you are hinting at some kind of crazy strategy, then even Marussia could have a chance at a podium finish.

  3. Thank God you signed Raikkonen instead of Nico! says Alonso.

    1. Corrado (@)
      22nd July 2014, 13:22

      To be honest, Ferrari’s biggest problem for some years now is NOT having a winning car… and less the drivers. By that, I don’t mean a car good enough to win 2-3 races maximum. They have secured for some good years now 1 of the best drivers in F1. They don’t really need a car dominant like RBR last year, Mercedes this year or the Ferrari of MSchumacher from 2001 to 2004, but a car good enough to fight the others every race, like the Ferraris of 2007 and 2008 for example. I’m pretty sure Alonso would have won the 2008 WDC in that Ferrari.

  4. I have a feeling hulk will shine in a wet race again (if we ever get one). perez is less consistent but he can really turn it on when everything’s hooked up. they actually have a really decent team this year – shows the quality that’s on the grid. i think only caterham and sauber are really underperforming.

    1. sutil and gutierez. What’d you expect would happen? Sauber was all hulk last year. Without him they are nothing.

  5. Gideon Hadi (@)
    22nd July 2014, 11:15

    Hulk is consistently finished ahead of Raikkonen in this year. so yes, this year is his best so far.

    1. Not really an accomplishment, alot of other drivers “accomplished” the same this year.

      1. Gideon Hadi (@)
        22nd July 2014, 14:14

        yeah, but Ferrari is a lot faster than Force India

        1. For varying values of ‘a lot’ :P

        2. Räikkonen’s Ferrari certainly isn’t.

  6. More than a little of Force India’s success is engine-dependent, helped by McLaren’s slightly slower speed (relative to Mercedes teams) and Williams poor race performance until recently both helping their cause. The downforce on the Force India’s is poor compared to similarly placed teams, the sector 3 times at Hockenheim show it up well, as do splits from other downforce dependent sectors at other tracks this year. They would be struggling big time with a Renault or Ferrari – in fact I think they would around Sauber’s pace.
    However, I think Force India is seeing the benefit of having a so-so car (albeit it with a good engine) driven by capable drivers, constant finishing by the Hulk in the points being the most obvious example. Good drivers can’t save a lemon, but a car which lacks in one component while competitive in other components can be saved by decent drivers.

  7. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    22nd July 2014, 11:35

    And yet unfortunately Nico, McLaren promptly looked the other way earlier this year when you came knocking. In the increasingly likely eventuality that Button is replaced by the end of this year Hulkenberg and Grosjean appear the only viable candidates (with Alonso committed to Ferrari and a Vandoorne-Magnussen line up much too inexperienced); so why was the consistent, methodical and thoroughly McLaren-esc Hulkenberg allegedly refused? The only reason I can think of that it would essentially paint a big “WE SIGNED THE WRONG MAN IN 2012” banner on their backs; but Ron, this is about getting the best driver available isn’t it, not just one that you can form a partisan attachment to? Oh, right…

    1. pastaman (@)
      22nd July 2014, 12:47

      Sometimes the answer is simple, and not rage-induced conspiracy. Hulk was too heavy for their car with the current weight limit.

    2. You really think a team wouldn’t sign a driver they consider to be the best just to save face? You think maybe the “WE SIGNED THE WRONG MAN IN 2012″ banner was unfurled when they let him go?

      Sure, Hulkenberg hasn’t made it into a top team because for whatever reason he hasn’t been considered the best option for the teams. I expect Grosjean to replace Button at Maclaren, and we’ll probably see Bianchi take Raikonnens place at Ferrari. Hulkenberg might find himself in Massa’s seat one day (hopefully soon) but I don’t see him going to Ferrari, McLaren or Red Bull any time soon. What options does he realistically have?

      1. Finally someone making some sense in here…

  8. It is nearly impossible to finish every race in points. I fear that one day Alonso and Hulkenberg will not succeed.
    Hulk made a tremendous job in the last race when he had to race fast and change settings on the wheel for 5 laps. He is incredibly consistent, so he has reached Alonso’s level of stability. His speed is good enough, though I think he should improve on that. Also, he needs to improve his skill in getting right settings on his car. That’s it, he will become as strong as Alonso.
    Hopefully, SF will decide to sign a contract with Hulk instead of Vettel.

  9. I knew watching Brazil 2012 that he was definitely something special. I know he had several outstanding performances before that, but the way he drove and held off Hamilton in a far superior McLaren for so long had me in complete disbelief. Then he made a mistake and smashed into Lewis, but to me he showed enough that day to make a lasting impression.

    There’s something Alonso-esque about him to me, which makes me very excited. He’s great wheel to wheel, a fantastic defensive driver, relentless during the races and incredibly consistent. It’s just circumstances and being perpetually stuck in midfield cars that means we’ve yet to see him on the podium. But we will.

  10. Weirdly enough, I am way more impressed with Perez this year, despite the points table.

    1. @dh1996 Could you explain why? I’m not questioning your opinion, just genuinely curious. I like Perez a lot and was delighted he got a podium, but what makes you say he’s been more impressive than Hulkenberg?

      1. Perez has been unlucky in more than 2 races with DNF, where he could’ve scored points, whereas Hulkenberg doesn’t take risks, he is a consistent driver but will not push further (perhaps that is why he didnt get the podium…). Don’t get me wrong, I believe FI has one of the best line ups on the grid, but the season is not over yet and we might find “The Hulk” turning his luck for the second half, it is too early to praise him, with the potential he as as a driver, he has not achieve anything yet!

      2. I don’t really know but it seems to that if he doesn’t have problems or makes mistakes, he’s much quicker than Hülkenberg. Perez looks like someone who will eventually win races thanks to his raw speed but wouldn’t be able to win a championship because he isn’t reliable enough. Hülkenberg on the other hand is a very consistent points scorer but would need a superior car to actually win something. He’d make a perfect #2 for a top team.

        1. @dh1996

          How do you explain qalifying, if Perez had raw speed he would do better in qually. The stats are well in Hulk’s favour.

          1. Who cares about qualifying really? The fact is that Perez has been really impressive on two occasions: Bahrain and Austria, while Hulk has just done his thing like Alonso.

  11. Corrado (@)
    22nd July 2014, 13:14

    Looks like it was a “good move” not being in a Lotus this year for Hulk. Same thing for Kimi.

  12. Everybody said he was going yo destroy Perez this year and he hasnt done that

  13. Hulk is more than carrying his weight at SFI. His drives -especially defensive- are amazingly cool and composed, and consistently sets up the car the right way, his quali is surely at potential. I’m sure that some of the top guns just hate seeing him loom up in front during races ! Will he take a ‘top seat’ ?… i think the question is when.
    .. While 40 up on his team mate, Perez is ever closer in quali, IMO is incresingly doing great, and its just so much fun to see the both of them race.

  14. Having a reliable car always helps, and it helps more than usual this season when so many other cars are so unreliable. While he’s driving well I don’t think Hulk is driving any better than he did last year.

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