Hulkenberg doubts Force India can progress

Nico Hulkenberg says it will be “very difficult” for Force India to progress beyond this season’s fourth place in the constructors’ championship.

Force India secured the best result in its history in 2016, with Hulkenberg helping the team beat Williams to fourth place behind Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari. Despite the impressive result, the German is moving to Renault over the winter having been enticed by the potential of a factory-backed team.

Asked whether Force India can better its 2016 finishing position or if budget constraints make that impossible, Hulkenberg admits he doesn’t see the team moving further up the grid.

“Difficult to predict,” Hulkenberg said. “To move on further, to close the gap in terms of being in the mix with the top three teams, it’s very difficult.

“I think they would need a bit more budget, more resources. I think the people are there, we have a very good team in place at the track but also back at the factory so I think that wouldn’t stop it. It’s a huge challenge and it’s not easy.”

While Hulkenberg enjoyed a solid season this year, he was outshone by Sergio Perez who scored two podiums and finished seventh in the drivers’ championship. Despite ending this year 29 points behind his team-mate, Hulkenberg says he doesn’t look back on 2016 with regret.

“No regrets. Obviously there is a few events let’s say, like Monaco, where we’ve done a mistake on the strategy side when we had a pretty good result on the table. That’s probably the biggest, not regret, but the biggest frustration of the season.”

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2016 driver ratings: 24-13

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