September 22nd, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Nico Hulkenberg delivered yet another points finish for Sauber at the Singapore Grand Prix, coming home ninth to score two points. But the German's race could have been even stronger. He was required to yield position to Sergio Perez early in the race following an incident where he ran off the track while the two drivers were battling.
Perez attempted to pass Hulkenberg down the inside into turn 7. Hulkenberg was ahead going into the corner, but gave Perez space on the inside. On the exit Hulkenberg, still ahead, bottomed out on the kerb and he ran wide off the track but kept position. The stewards ruled that Hulkenberg had gained an advantage by running off the track and required him to yield position to Perez.
Hulkenberg was not happy about the incident and said afterwards: "I had a very good start and then a racing situation with Sergio Perez. In the end, I did have to give back the position to him and I don’t quite agree with that. There was a Williams in the fight as well, Sergio was on the inside, but I had to leave space and caught the outer kerb. Then my car bottomed and I was off, however, I was in front of Sergio before and after the corner."
But there was nothing he could do about having to give up his position, and from then on Hulkenberg could only focus on the rest of the race. He said after the race:
“All in all we can be happy. We brought home two points. To be honest, I didn’t expect much more than that. You can’t expect that every weekend will be like Monza (where he finished fifth) now, but we improved significantly. It was a very tough race."
At the end of the race, Hulkenberg found himself fighting with Mark Webber, Kimi Raikkonen, the two Mercedes drivers and the two McLaren drivers. He said of his last few laps: "At the end, it was a pure fight for survival, because the tyres were pretty much gone. Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber were all on fresh tyres and I simply had to focus on staying on track and finishing the race.”