Nico Hulkenberg believes Haas is a strong contender for points in Sunday’s British Grand Prix after his impressive run to P6 in qualifying.

The German driver had concluded Friday’s running P4 in the pecking order at the wheel of Haas’ heavily upgraded VF-24, a performance that clearly validated the wholesale changes implemented by the team’s engineers.

However, tricky track conditions at the outset of qualifying coupled with a red flag period triggered by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez almost left Hulkenberg stranded in Q1.

But his single flyer on the soft tyre fortunately provided him with a safe passage into Q2, but its was a close call. Another strong run granted him access to the top-ten shootout which he concluded in sixth position, just over half a second adrift from Mercedes poleman George Russell.

“Yeah, yeah, I mean, it’s OK,” said Hulkenberg, seemingly downplaying his impressive performance.

“Last week we had one good one, one bad one, this weekend a good one. Just managed to take the momentum and the tailwind from last week to take into this weekend.

“Plus, I think the updates that we introduced yesterday afternoon in P2, you know, did the rest and they really had an effect. And I kind of really felt, you know, a gain with them straight away, which is obviously very good and not always the case.

“Q1 was a little bit too close for comfort with only one lap and, you know, the red flag with Checo and our timing, I think we got a little out of sync from everyone else.

“That was a bit sketchy, but otherwise a good clean session.”

©Haas

Hulkenberg admitted that his confidence factor – and his experience – were precious assets that enabled him to deal with the challenges thrown his way in the session.

“To be honest, I feel a lot in good confidence. So that allows me to produce the laps, even if I just have one, you know, they come out pretty well, which is obviously good. You know, I enjoy that feeling.

“I always try to hold on to it for as long as possible. I know, you know, it’s not always like that. So you have to, you have to use it while it lasts.”

The 36-year-old F1 veteran feels that his main race on Sunday will likely be with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso, but points will be in his lone of sight.

“I think definitely that we should be able to fight for points,” he said. “Obviously we have the Astons there in the top 10, who probably is our main competition tomorrow.

“I mean, the Ferrari start behind, but I don’t see any scenario where we can keep them behind because I think race pace wise, they still have quite a lot over us in hand.

“But points, definitely we’re in the fight for that.”

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