May 19, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
Nico Hulkenberg may not have started the season as he would have liked, scoring just five points from the first five races, but the German driver is feeling positive ahead of next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
“In terms of performance, I’m quite positive. We’ve seen that the softer tire compounds suit us quite well, which gives me confidence we’ll have a good weekend,” he said in a team statement.
Sauber has struggled to replicate its 2012 form so far this season. By Monaco last year, the Swiss team had scored 41 points and lay 7th in the constructors’ championship, whereas 2013 has yielded just 5 points in total, but the team is only one position down on 2012. Regardless, it is not the start Hulkenberg may have envisaged, especially after having been linked to Red Bull for 2014.
The German driver is however looking forward to racing at Monaco, with the race being among his favorites.
“I’m really looking forward to the Monaco Grand Prix. The circuit along with the backdrop of the principality are just fantastic, and the atmosphere is one of the best in the season.
“The track is one of a kind with extremely narrow streets that will punish every little mistake. This is a great challenge between me, the car and the track, and I always have a lot of fun driving there.”
In Formula One, Hulkenberg has a mixed record in Monaco. In 2010, he retired early on after a front-wing failure caused him to crash in the tunnel. Last season, when driving for Force India, he impressed many on his way to P8, setting the second-fastest lap of the race. A similar result would be well-received by all at Hinwil, although they will also be keen on Esteban Gutierrez scoring his first points of the season.