Hulkenberg: My target for 2016 must be a podium

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1.Formula One Testing, Day 3, Thursday 3rd March 2016. Barcelona, Spain.

Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg has set his sights on finally reaching the podium in 2016.

Remarkably, although one of the most highly-rated midfield drivers in F1, the 28-year-old has never finished one of his almost 100 grands prix in the top three.

“It must be a podium,” he told the German broadcaster RTL when asked what his target is for 2016 as he lines up yet again for Force India.

“I think it has lasted long enough now to be here in Formula 1 without a podium,” added Hulkenberg, who won the fabled 24 hours of Le Mans at his first attempt in 2015.

So when asked why he has failed to add a podium to his resume after five seasons in F1, he answered: “So far it has just not worked out.

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09.Formula One Testing, Day 3, Thursday 3rd March 2016. Barcelona, Spain.

“There were one or two races in which it was realistically possible, but unfortunate circumstances just came together or things went wrong.

“But that’s the way it was, it’s history and it’s behind me. Now the focus is on 2016 and having my most successful year in formula one,” said Hulkenberg, who has also raced for Williams and Sauber.

Fifth overall in 2015, Force India has again looked promising in winter testing and is aiming to lead the midfield this year.

“It is good that we set ourselves high goals,” said Hulkenberg, “but I also believe that it (a podium) is possible.”

But even a podium, he admitted, will not completely satisfy him.

“I am feeling comfortable in my own skin and in a good position in my career,” said the German. “But I’m still not where I want to be in terms of my formula one career and what I have achieved.”