May 24 (GMM/Inautonews.com) As the roulette wheel spins in 2012, Nico Hulkenberg has admitted he finds himself without a chip on the board.
McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and Williams have already won so far this season, whilst Lotus and Sauber have shown genuinely winning pace.
The three backmarkers aside, that leaves just Force India and Toro Rosso as perhaps the only teams without genuine chances of victory so far this year.
“According to our measurements, Williams and Sauber were the fastest cars in Barcelona. They must now be counted among the top teams,” said Force India driver Hulkenberg.
It’s a disappointing situation for the Silverstone based team, a distant eighth in the championship.
“We have definitely improved, especially in traction, but in the fast corners Sauber and Williams are better than us,” Hulkenberg acknowledged to Auto Motor und Sport.
The German admitted Force India has a few tenths to find.
“We have no choice but to develop, because we are behind,” said Hulkenberg. “It’s important to find a good balance between improving the car and understanding it.”
Force India’s 2012 goal, fifth in the constructors’, seems a long way away.
That place is currently occupied by Shanghai winner Mercedes, who are flanked by Malaysia and Spain winners respectively, Ferrari and Williams.
“It is still possible,” Hulkenberg insisted, “although difficult, because the others are still going to be getting points.”