Sao Paulo: Nico Hulkenberg ended his partnership with Sahara Force India on a high as he secured 10 points for the side at the season-closing Brazilian Grand Prix with a fifth place finish, here on Monday. History was beckoning the young German when he was locked in an intesne race-lead battle with Mercedes' bound Lewis Hamilton but an overtaking manoeuvre in lap 49 brought him a costly drive through penatly, spoiling his podium chances.
Neverthless, it was a fantastic season for Hulkenberg as he finished 11th in the drivers standing with 63 points, just three behind Sauber's Sergio Perez, and 17 more than teammate Paul di Resta, who was 14th. Hulkeberg matched his second best result of the season on Monday as he had finshed fifth at the European Grand Prix also.
A career-best fourth place at Belgian Grand Prix was the highlight of his stay at the Indian team. Hulkenberg had joined Force India in 2011 as a test and reserve driver and was promoted to a race seat this season in place of Adrian Sutil.
He will join Sauber for the 2013 season and will be partnered by Mexican driver Esteban Gutirrez. It was forgetable season-end race for Di Resta as he crashed out of the race in the penultimate lap after spinping his car on the last corner to go off the track and hit the wall.
The Indian team finished seventh in the constructors' championship with 109 points, 17 less than Sauber. The team had finished sixth last year althoug it had scored 69 points in 2011.