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Hulkenberg not ruling out staying at Sauber

Oct 15, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

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Nico Hulkenberg could stay put next year despite speculation linking him with several different seats following his strong form in recent races.

“I’ve never ruled Sauber out,” Hulkenberg told The Telegraph. “We are talking to different teams including Sauber.”

Among the other teams Hulkenberg is believed to be considering a switch to is Lotus, who are searching for a replacement for Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen. Team principal Eric Boullier recently indicated Hulkenberg is under consideration by stating the team were not concerned about running a heavier driver (Hulkenberg is one of the tallest in F1) despite next year’s switch to heavier engines.

The 26-year-old has never raced for the same team in consecutive seasons. He made his debut with Williams in 2010 but was dropped to make way for Pastor Maldonado and his PDVSA backing. After a year as Force India’s reserve driver he raced for them in 2012. They are also rumored to be courting their ex-drivers services again for 2014.

Hulkenberg’s move to Sauber began poorly as the team made an uncompetitive start to the season. But following an aerodynamic upgrade in Hungary and the changes to Pirelli’s tires they have found themselves much more competitive in the second half of the year.

  1. Sonny - Oct 15, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    So if Hulkenberg goes to back to Force, where does that leave Sutil? Lotus seems like the only seat left but didn’t he stab the head of Lotus in the neck?

  2. apexassassin - Oct 15, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Smart. Anywhere is a smarter move than LOLtus unless Renault agree to buy/take them back and be their “factory” team and title sponsor.

    @Sonny, Sutil has proved he isn’t worth keeping and you are thinking of Eric Lux being struck in the neck with a broken champagne flute in Shanghai by Sutil, so Lotus is almost certainly not interested in his so-so services.

  3. Sonny - Oct 16, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    @apexassassin every driver without a seat could be deemed a “so-so”, but with Romain being the top driver at LOLtus you’d think they want to pair him with a veteran driver who can help in the garage and deliver points if Romain can repeat his performance instead of their young drivers. If not Hulkenberg, Massa or Sutil drivers with F1 experience is limited.

    • apexassassin - Oct 16, 2013 at 11:07 AM

      Don’t forget Koby, Buemi, Petrov, Karthikeyan, and Barichello who all have experience but being “so-so” saw them leave the sport in recent years (in spite of some very large sponsorship packages for some of them too).

      I don’t want Hulk to join LOLtus for personal reasons. They’ve already stated he’s there #1 choice and it all comes down to funding. I think it would be a daft move for Hulk (esp with Allison moving on) unless Renault agree to take over the team or at the very least bring in a large amount of $$$.

      Also if Sauber pass FI for the Constructors I’d expect FI to clean house and at least replace Sutil, if not both drivers and RoGro undoubtedly would be LOLtus’s #1 driver and now he’s been paired with a senior driver his whole career. His F1 experience is equal to Hulk and he’s got to prove he can lead the team. IMO he’s the one driving the development at LOLtus, not Kimi.

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