Nico Hulkenberg believes he is now showing his real potential after shaking off the "rust" that developed during his season on the sidelines in 2011.
The German spent last year as Force India's reserve driver, having lost his Williams race seat at the end of 2010. Hulkenberg then replaced Adrian Sutil in Force India's race lineup for this season. Asked how he would assess his first half-season racing for Force India, Hulkenberg said there had been clear highlights but that he felt the best was yet to come now he was fully up to speed.
"Like anybody, a few ups and downs. The high was fifth in Valencia," he said. "A couple of tough races at the beginning of the season which were interrupted by things that I couldn't control, such as the clutch in Bahrain or the lap-one incident with Mark [Webber] in Melbourne – races where maybe potential points were there. So I've been unlucky in some places.
"Obviously, I've done my mistakes as well. Coming back to racing, I needed some time to shine and get the rusty bits off. But since the start of the European season I feel that it's getting better and better, and I feel I'm on the right path."
Hulkenberg's 2013 plans are currently uncertain, but he said he would be happy to stay at Force India.
"I feel very comfortable in the team," said Hulkenberg. "As far as I'm concerned, the team is very happy, and there's a possibility [to stay]."