Hulkenberg: 'Seventh is pole in our world'

Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Singapore Grand Prix
© XPB 

Nico Hulkenberg will start this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix from seventh place - and it is also the seventh time this season the Renault driver has qualified in the top ten.

"It's pole position in our world, behind the top teams," he joked. "I’m very happy to start seventh, it was a good effort from the team.

"Very happy, also, with how we've done it," he continued. "I had a nice battle with McLaren in qualifying today. They had the upper hand until the last lap, where I managed to squeeze a really good lap out.

"We have a strong package here this weekend," he said. "Everyone gave us the best possible chance to have a good race."

That said, Hulkenberg is all too well aware not to take anything for granted when it comes to the race itself.

"We know the Singapore Grand Prix is unpredictable," he admitted. "Anything can happen. You just have to be ready and stay on your toes for the entire race.”

Hulkenberg's team mate Jolyon Palmer narrowly missed out on joining him in the final round. He will start from 11th place on the grid in tomorrow's race.

"We found a lot of pace in the car," reported Palmer. "Especially in Q1 where it felt like the car came alive. I'm 11th, but I’m not too dissatisfied with that."

“Jolyon put in some good laps today," added Renault sporting director Alan Permane. "[He] was looking quite good in Q1 and Q2 but lost his rear tyres at the end of Q2.

"It’s a shame because he had good pace and up until turn 20 he was on course to easily get into Q3.

"It’s not the worse position to start from," he pointed out. "He’ll have a new set of tyres and that will give us a strategic advantage for tomorrow. It will certainly give us an advantage at the start.

"Nico gave us a bit of fright in Q1," Permane added. "But after that, he sailed into what has become a routine qualifying, finishing seventh.

"Although the McLarens were tough to beat, he put a fantastic lap at the end of Q3 to beat them both."

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