For the first time in his F1 career Nico Hulkenberg is heading into a second season as a race driver with the same team, and the German says that the stability is a major boost for him.
Hulkenberg has bounced from Williams to Force India to Sauber and back to Force India over the past few seasons, and has now finally found a long-term home.
“I’m very happy and pleased to have that consistency now for once,” he told this writer. “And also emotionally wise it’s good to have this consistency It’s good that tor the first time in my career it was announced and the plans were concrete so early, so it’s actually a very comfortable situation to be in, to know what you do, then you can focus with your team on the future, you can work in the same direction. It’s a very nice feeling.”
Hulkenberg is happy with the way 2014 turned out: “There’s no discussion that leaving Sauber for Force India was the right decision, although in hindsight obviously it’s easy to say!
“I’m definitely happy. It was not a perfect year. We had a good start, and perhaps a not so good second half for various reasons. Obviously the car performance was not so good in the second half.
“In some of the later races we didn’t achieve our best potential, for whatever reason, and the other thing is I think some teams outdeveloped us. In the beginning of the year, in Bahrain, we were racing Ferraris, and beating Williams. They clearly overtook us, and were in front.
“We just lost out in development and bringing aero performance to the car. Aero is still king, even with the these new cars and new regulations. Other teams just put on more, and had a stronger development curve than us.”
Meanwhile he insists that he’s not disappointed by his failure thus far to break into one of the title chasing teams.
“I’m not frustrated about not being in a winning team. It is is what it is, you just have to hang on there and keep doing your best, and one day the opportunity will come, or not.
“I think you also have to say that the quality of drivers on the market is very high, if you look at the top teams they are employing good drivers already, so you cannot say. ‘He’s doing shit, get rid of him.’”