Nico Hulkenberg says his third place result in qualifying was a 'nice surprise' after he failed to make into top 10 in any of the three practice sessions at Monza.
“I am happy. This was a nice surprise for all of us. I didn’t expect that after a very difficult Friday." said an elated Nico Hulkenberg.
"Yesterday we struggled a lot with the car and the guys have done a fantastic job turning it around to give me such a competitive car today."
"During qualifying the car just got better and better and the track improved as well. We made the right decision to go for one timed lap in Q3 and then this happened. I hope the long run pace is good tomorrow." he added.
The 26 year old locked his Sauber C32 around Monza in 1:24.065, just a tenth off a second slower than Webber's Red Bull. In the process, he also managed to beat the Ferraris - a team he's hoping to join in 2014.
But as far as his current season with Sauber is concerned, it hasn't gone his way with the team producing a poor car for the talented German. He has just managed to score just 7 points in first 11 races with a best finish of 8th in Malaysia. He thus believes that the result will boost the team's morale.
"It is a highlight for the whole team. Such a result will lift our spirits."
"A big thank you to the whole team and everyone in Hinwil, who have been working hard and have never given up in this difficult year.”
Meanwhile, his teammate Esteban Gutierrez, who qualified in 17th place was left wondering why the gap between the two cars was so significant.
"After FP3 this morning I felt in good shape. Everything was working reasonably and now we have to analyse why we are missing more than four tenths to Nico. It’s challenging, but we need to keep pushing.” said the young Mexican.