Nico Hulkenberg has hailed the 2013 Korean Grand Prix as one of the best races of his career. The German driver held off intense pressure from Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso to cross the line in fourth place.
He had a decent start but made up a number of positions at the third corner. He avoided the spinning Felipe Massa and kept with the Mercedes and Lotus drivers in the early stages. He dropped back towards the end with heavily worn tyres but managed to defend beautifully on route to equalling the best result of his career.
Speaking in a team statement after the race he said: “Today I drove one of the best races in my career so far. I have had cars in the mirrors before, but today there were a lot and it was a bit annoying. Lewis really put the pressure on at the end, especially in the last sector. I knew I needed to get out of turn one well. The car’s traction was very good today, so that kept me alive against Fernando and then Lewis later on. We were also very fast on the straight. I had a good start, although on the outside into turn one, which was a loss at first, but then I had a real good slip stream and was able to get past on the outside. A big thank you to the entire team for providing such an excellent car today.”
Esteban Gutierrez, in comparison, had a storming start to overtake Alonso and team-mate Hulkenberg into turn one. However, he got caught up in the chaos at turn three which dropped him down to 14th place. From there it was hard to make up ground: “I had a very good start, then I arrived at turn three and saw what was going on. I tried to protect my position, my rears locked and that’s why I lost a couple of positions. To recover from that was quite a challenge. I had some good fights with Massa and Checo coming from the back. Of course, I wanted to score points today, but this is racing. It’s a great experience and will help me to improve my race craft. We had good pace today and are definitely able to fight in the top ten.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic