DRIVING FORCE: Nico Hulkenberg
Force India have secured a best-ever fifth place finish in the Formula One team standings after Nico Hulkenberg came sixth in the Brazilian Grand Prix last Sunday (15).
The eight points in the penultimate race of the season takes Force India to 120 points, 44 ahead of sixth placed Lotus going into the finale at Abu Dhabi.
Hulkenberg made the two-stop strategy work after starting fifth on grid while teammate Sergio Perez finished 13th.
The Vijay Mallya-led squad have made history after an unprecedented year when it earned 19 points finishes and a third ever podium through Perez.
The team finished 10th in its maiden season in 2008 and was sixth in 2013 and 2014.
“My utmost satisfaction is we have improved performance steadily every year over the past eight years. I have a great team to whom I owe this,” said Mallya, who is in talks with Aston Martin and Johnnie Walker to rebrand the team next season.
Perez and Hulkenberg will now be looking to hold on to ninth and 10th spot in the drivers’ standings at the season finale next weekend.
“I am very happy with sixth place and scoring the points that helped the team secure fifth place in the championship, which is great news.
“It is the best result in our history and shows the progress we have made over the years. This fifth place is a result of all the hard work from everybody in the team and we should feel very proud of what we have achieved together,” said Hulkenberg.
“The race today was fun, although I didn’t have the best start and got some wheel spin, which dropped me behind Bottas and Kvyat.
“Fortunately I was able to get one of those places back with an aggressive early pit stop, but that forced me to do two very long stints on the medium tyres, which was the main challenge of the day.
“We made it work though,” the German added