A tough run for Nico Hulkenberg in recent races had seen him lose ground in the battle for the ‘best of the rest’ accolade in this year's drivers' championship, behind the men from the top three teams. So it was understandable the Renault star wanted to bounce back in Austin. And that he did, delivering a well-deserved P6 at the Circuit of The Americas - a result that the German admitted came as a ‘relief'…
Hulkenberg went into the United States showdown level on 53 points with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Force India’s Sergio Perez, with a combination of setbacks – including Renault’s qualifying woes – proving a recent problem for the driver.
But a positive Saturday performance from the Anglo-French squad put Hulkenberg seventh on the grid, and he was back to his usual consistent ways on Sunday, keeping his nose clean to seal sixth place and eight points for his team, to which Carlos Sainz added another six for his seventh place.
That result has enabled him to regain his P7 advantage in the drivers’ standings – he leads nearest rival Perez by four points with just three races to go - and it was a morale-boosting performance for the ‘relieved’ racer.
"A fantastic result,” said Hulkenberg. “It’s been a long time since we had a good result, so very relieved and happy that we got this done today. Fourteen points for us is massive.
“It’s good to bounce back and reward ourselves with a bunch of points because recently, the last few weeks or month has been a little bit tough and dry. So feel very happy about today.