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Hulkenberg finishes 6th

Shanghai: Sahara Force India secured their third double points finish in four races after Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez came sixth and ninth, respectively, in the Chinese Grand Prix, here on Sunday.

The Silverstone-based squad showed strong race pace on a two-stop strategy after struggling in a wet qualifying on Saturday, when Hulkenberg and Perez were eighth and 16th fastest, respectively.

The German did well to keep the charging Williams of Valtteri Bottas at bay on the final lap of the 54-lap race.

“At the end, it got a bit tricky. If it was one lap longer, Valtteri (Bottas) probably could have DRSed me,” said Hulkenberg, who has moved a place down to be fourth in the drivers’ standings ahead of reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.

Hulkenberg addded: “It was a straightforward race, not much to do except manage my tyres, manage my pace and not make a mistake.

“It was not as strong as Bahrain. The strategy was optimal, which shows us we’ve got some homework to do. We’ve beaten all the other customer Mercedes cars, that’s our main competition.”

Perez said ninth was the maximum he could have got on the day.

“To start from P16 and finish in ninth place is a good recovery after a difficult qualifying. I made a good start and after that I just focussed on making the two-stop strategy work. I think everybody suffered with tyre graining and I picked up a few flat spots, but we still made it work,” said the Mexican. (PTI)