Nico Hulkenberg hopes his stunning performance in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix boosts his chances for the future in Formula 1.
The German driver qualified in third position in the Sauber, making him the fastest driver in a Ferrari-powered car in the Italian marque's home event. Ferrari duo Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso qualified behind the Sauber.
Hulkenberg's future remains uncertain after he did not take up an option he had to commit to a new contract with Sauber, which is struggling this year.
The German welcomed the timing of the Monza performance.
"I can only influence by performing very well and today's result is not the worst," said Hulkenberg. "For me it is important to focus on my competitiveness, on my performance and that will make the rest easier.Probably the timing is not the worst at this moment."
Hulkenberg admitted the result came as a surprise to him, the Sauber driver having never qualified higher than ninth in the previous races this year.
"It is a nice surprise for ourselves, especially after a difficult Friday, with the car changed some bits and bobs," he added. "The guys did a great job to give me a competitive car today. I had a good lap which made this surprise happen."