by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 191
Nico Hulkenberg tore up the Korean form guide faster than a Kentucky Derby punter by outclassing the might of Mercedes on a sultry afternoon in Yeongam. Despite showing continuing progress since Spa and a strong fifth at Monza, Hulkenberg was keeping a lid on his prospects on Saturday afternoon, even though the team saw both drivers qualify inside the top ten for the first time this year. “Our aim is to stay where we are,” the German racer said on Saturday. “ We have one spot due to Mark's [Webber] penalty, but it’s not realistic to be fighting him. Our focus is staying in front of McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso.” But first lap incident on Sunday that saw Ferrari’s Felipe Massa spin at Turn 3 jumbled up the order and allowed Hulkenberg to vault from seventh to fifth. Rejoining in ninth after the first round of pit stops, the Sauber driver stayed within striking distance of the top five contenders. There was some tension in the Sauber cockpit in the second stint as Hulkenberg kept Fernando Alonso firmly behind him, but the German racer was able to withstand the attack despite significant graining on his tyres. After the second round of stops it was the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton that was putting on the pressure, but Hulkenberg was able to keep the silver car in his mirrors following a brief pass and repass session powered by DRS. When Mark Webber's RB9 caught fire shortly after the restart a second Safety Car brought Hamilton back within spitting distance of the Sauber, and what should have been a battle of rubber and graining came to naught when it became clear that Hulkenberg had vastly superior traction, enabling him to keep the 2008 world champion from presenting much of a threat, despite 15 laps of very close running. Rear balance issues have plagued the Sauber for some time, but Hulkenberg’s talents have masked the problem. The first sector of the Korean International Circuit played to the C32’s strengths, but it was the German’s deft driving that covered up the car’s weaknesses during the quick changes of direction that comprise the rest of the lap. “It’s probably a combination of tyres, quite a few updates and the car set-up, et cetera, et cetera. I think all that together makes us a contender,” Hulkenberg said after the race. “[The rear balance issue is] still there, but we know how to get around it a bit better now. The first sector is stop and go, so it’s about top speed and traction. If you’re quick there then both things should be okay. Yesterday we looked quick on the straights and that was confirmed today.” Nico's fourth place finish puts Sauber on equal constructors’ points with Toro Rosso. Return of the Incredible Hulk 32 GPWEEK.com // 32 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> KOREA