Hulkenberg: I often spoke to Whitmarsh but it’s hard to know why there’s so little interest

15 November, 2013

Nico Hulkenberg faces an uncertain future

Nico Hulkenberg faces an uncertain future

Nico Hulkenberg has admitted that the likelihood of a Lotus race seat for 2014 has diminuished substantially and dropped almost to zero, and reveals that he has had regular contact with McLaren but is stumped at the lack of interest in him from the Woking outfit.

Hulkenberg admitted curiousity at never having been in real contention to replace Sergio Perez at McLaren.

“I often spoke to Martin Whitmarsh,” he said. “It’s hard to know why there was so little interest. I believe I have made all the right arguments on the track.”

Nevertheless, he said the uncertainty of late 2010 – when Williams left him without a seat for 2011 at the very last minute – was a worse feeling.

“It was constantly put off and put off until I had nothing,” said Hulkenberg. “But I was still new to the business. Now I’ve gotten used to it.”

Asked by Blick to say where he is going after the Brazil finale, the Sauber driver answered: “I can only say that I am going [on], but not where.

Nico Hulkenberg has impressed this season with mediocre resources at his disposal

Nico Hulkenberg has impressed this season with mediocre resources at his disposal

“The options are well known,” said the German, who despite having a seat fitting at Enstone this week ultimately decided against replacing Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus for the last two races of 2013.

“Force India, Sauber, Lotus,” said Hulkenberg.

But the implication of his ‘no’ to Lotus is that the financially-struggling team could not offer him a seat for 2014.

Hulkenberg did say that Lotus would at least have paid him for Austin and Brazil. “Of course I would not drive for nothing. I’m not a charity,” he insisted.

For 2014, however, he admitted, “The chances are the worst at Lotus. If you believe the reports, Maldonado is already there.”

Auto Motor und Sport reports that the deadline for Lotus’ Quantum Motorsport investment deal to be finalised is Friday, but correspondent Michael Schmidt said that even Lotus no longer believes in a “miracle”.

Mark Webber recently described a driver market in which the highly-rated Hulkenberg could be left on the sidelines as “unhealthy” for the pinnacle of motor sport. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.


  • GreenHell

    Hulk should go for a better management I guess…

  • captain tortuga

    Behh.. i really hope that we don’t see that Crashtor again in F1.. Banger-racing is more his style..

    The moment Lotus announces Crashtor, they will see an immediate drop in their followers on Facebook – twitter etc.

    Kimi gone, and then Crashtor in.. The funeral of an F1 team..

  • Stoner

    ‘Hulk should go for a better management I guess…’

    I second that, Hulk deserves a seat in a top team.

  • The Pessimist

    Has Eddie Jordan go it right again, is Hulk on the way to Force India?

  • Say What?

    @captain tortuga

    I completely agree with this. Lotus has worked very hard getting a fan base going, especially with their social media presence and all round sense of humour. But a lot of this success was based on the popularity of Raikkonen. Now they’ve lost him they need someone who can at least compete with that popularity.

    Maldonado appears to be one of the least, if not the-, popular characters in the paddock. Lotus would be sacrificing their popularity by signing him. It would be obvious what the motivations behind it are – $30m in PDVSA backing – and this would diminish the brand also.

    The inevitable dubbing of a team of Grosjean and Maldonado being the crash happy team would then appear, adding to the overall problem.

    It would be a poor choice by a team who are close to really being a front contending team. They have a really clever and successful PR department at the moment who must be screaming their heads off not to sign Pastor.

  • Spartacus

    Ferrari should take him to partner Kimi.

  • ZombieJebus

    Simple as they know Hulk will destroy Button.

    Oh wait, he might do that in his Sauber anyway!!!

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