Nico Hulkenberg: Mercedes engine not the sole reason for early success
Nico Hulkenberg has downplayed Force India’s best ever start to a Formula 1 season, saying that their strong showing is down to a number of factors including a competitive car.
Mercedes have produced the best power unit in 2014, giving the works outfit and its three customers a competitive advantage over Ferrari and Renault powered cars. “It’s a very good car; otherwise we wouldn’t be where we are,” Hulkenberg told F1’s official website. “Sure, you need a good engine package – and no doubt the Mercedes engine was the best package in the first four races – but no, not everything is down to the engine.”
“We have a good package, a strong engine partner, and we’ve made some good decisions and the right calls strategy-wise,” he added.
When asked about Force India’s chances of staying ahead of world champions Red Bull in the Constructors standings, Hulkenberg remained realistic, citing gains made by the Austrian team over the last couple of races.
“With the Red Bulls we’ve seen a huge step forward from Bahrain to China already so it might be that they are in front of us already. Red Bull is probably the team with the biggest resources and financial power, so it is really hard to keep up with them.”
Instead, the German is focusing on keeping midfield rivals McLaren, Williams, Sauber and Lotus at bay.
He shared the same tone when asked about his target for this weekend Spanish Grand Prix which kick starts the European leg of the season.
“Without having done a lap on this track with the new cars it is impossible to make any predictions.
“But my gut feeling is that a podium would be tough because there are two cars reserved up there already. So I’m keeping my feet on the ground: top six. And then I’ll go home happy!” the 26-year-old finished.