Nico Hulkenberg is hopeful that earning his first career Formula 1 pole position at Interlagos today will help him cement his place in the Williams team for next year.
There has been speculation that Hulkenberg could be replaced by GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado for financial reasons, despite the team saying it has been happy with Hulkenberg's performance so far. But after giving Williams its first pole position for five years, the 23-year-old German is positive on his future.
"This means a pay raise, actually... only joking," Hulkenberg said. "The situation at Williams is very open, nothing is confirmed but I just try to keep focused on doing a good job, and so far it is working pretty well.
"If I do that and I don't make any silly mistakes, that is what I can do. Then it's up to team if they want to keep me, but I am in positive mood that we will have a successful conclusion to that story."
Of clinching pole position, by beating the two Red Bulls, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by more than a second on slick tires on a damp track, Hulkenberg added: "It is amazing, I still can't believe I've done it.
"Going on slicks was obviously the right decision, my engineer told me I had one last lap so I was squeezing everything out of car, trying not to get on the wet parts. It was easy to do a mistake but that lap was spot on. It's a great moment for us."
Hulkenberg admits that he is unlikely to be able to hold off the title contenders if Sunday's race is dry, but is determined to convert his pole into a strong points finish with Williams lying just three points behind Force India in the race for sixth in the Constructors' Championship.
"The best thing is to do a good start and drive off from them, but if it's dry that's not going to happen," he said. "I'll try to do my job. These guys are fighting for title so I don't want to cause trouble, but we also have to look at our own performance. We are fighting with Force India for P6. I am sure I can manage it and bring back some good points tomorrow."