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GP Week : Issue 177a
HULKENBURG RUES HAMILTON CLASH 36 GPWEEK.com // 36 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Nico Hulkenburg rues a mistake that cost him a race win, after driving superbly to lead the final race of the 2012 Formula One season – his last with the Sahara Force India team. The young German started Sunday’s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix from a respectable sixth place. He was mighty during the first stint and took the brave decision to remain on slicks in deteriorating conditions, as many of those around him pitted for Intermediate tyres, to take the lead of the race. He stood his ground at the front until lap 48 when a slide allowed Lewis Hamilton to scoot past, but finally lost all hope of a podium finish when the rear end of his VJM05 got loose and sent him spearing into Hamilton’s McLaren. “We had a great chance to finish on the podium today, but it slipped away, which is a shame,” said Hulkenburg. “In the early laps it was difficult to keep the car on the track in the very damp conditions, but it was not really wet enough for intermediates and I stuck with the slicks. “It was the right decision and soon I was leading the race. I felt comfortable but eventually I made a small mistake and Lewis got ahead of me. I managed to stay with him and was fighting to get the lead back when we touched. “It’s hard to say what happened but I was making a move going into Turn 1 and had a slightly loose rear. I was about to turn in and suddenly there was contact. It’s a shame for both of us because we were having a great battle. “I managed to keep going but I had lost a lot of time. Fifth place is still a super result to end the season and I think the team did an excellent job this weekend. I hope they enjoyed the race – it’s a nice leaving present in my last race.” F1 >>> BRAZIL