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Hulkenberg totally surprised by qualifying pace
Saturday 07th September 2013, 16:43 by TF1T Staff
© Sauber Motorsport AG
Nico Hulkenberg says he was taken by complete surprise after securing third on the grid for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.
The Sauber driver, who hasn't qualified any higher than tenth this season, managed a time just three-tenths slower than Sebastian Vettel's best to place him third, behind the Red Bull pair.
"I don't know [how we did it] either," he said. "It was really a nice surprise to myself. I didn't expect this after a very difficult Friday and we struggled a lot with the car, trying different bits and bobs.
"The team has done a fantastic job to turn the car around and give me such a competitive car today. In Q1, Q2 and Q3 the car just got better and better with the track improvement and with the right decision to god for one timed lap. It was a burning hot lap which made this surprise happen."
He dimissed any idea of him securing a podium or challenging the Red Bulls, something Sergio Perez managed for the team in 2012 when he came from 12th to 3rd.
"Last year was a very different year and last year Sauber was very competitive in a lot of races," he added. "This year we have been struggling more and have had a more difficult year. I hope the long-run pace is good, and from what I saw yesterday it should be alright, but I don't think we can challenge Red Bull but definitely points are now the target."
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