March 16, 2014 (F1 Plus / Rosie Baillie) - Nico Hulkenberg’s described his seventh place finish as a ‘positive way to start the season’ but believes their rivals have better pace at the moment.
‘Seventh place is a positive way to start the season. I was very happy to see the chequered flag – the first time I’ve done so in Melbourne – and it’s important to score some good points early on’ Hulkenberg said.
‘it looks like some of the cars around us have a bit more pace at the moment.’
The German was perhaps referring to his former team, Williams, who had a sixth place finish courtesy of Valtteri Bottas who could have finished higher had it not been for an extra pit stop due to a wheel falling off.
Hulkenberg who had a strong start, making his way up from seventh to fifth on the opening lap, said tyre graining compromised his first two stints.
‘The only real issue I had was some front left graining on the soft tyres, which never really cleared up and that compromised my first two stints.
Teammate Sergio Perez finished just outside the points in 11th and said his race was compromised by a pit stop on lap 1 after being hit by former teammate Esteban Gutierrez and being stuck behind Adrian Sutil.
‘My race became very difficult on lap one when I got hit by the Sauber of Gutierrez at turn three. It gave me a puncture and I had to return to the pits very slowly, which dropped me to the back of the pack.’ Perez said.
‘Points were close, but my progress was hurt by being stuck behind the Sauber of Adrian for such a long time.’
Team principal Vijay Mallya said the Silverstone based team had learned a lot during the race and were pleased to see both cars reach the finish line.
‘Overall we are pleased to see both cars make the finish in this new era of Formula One and we have learned a huge amount.’ Mallya said.
Hulkenberg’s seventh place finish puts the team sixth in the constructors’ championship, just two points behind Williams.