Sauber has confirmed that Nico Hulkenberg will join the team in 2013. While the German has been linked with the job for some weeks it only became official after Force India failed to be ahead of Sauber in the World Championship after the Indian GP, which eased the German’s passage out of his current contract.
Sauber, who thus far have nominated Hulkenberg only for next season, which will only add to speculation that he isbeing lined up as a potential future Ferrari driver. The team says it will name its second driver at a later date.
“We’ve been observing Nico for some time now and his performances have been very persuasive,” said team boss Monisha Kaltenborn. “That was the case in GP2 and has continued into Formula One. An obvious highlight was how he scored pole at Interlagos in 2010 despite the most challenging external conditions.
“He clearly showed that he can seize the chance if it arises. But high spots like that are one thing; systematic teamwork is another – and on that score I have confidence in Nico too. I’m sure he will fit in very well with the Sauber F1 Team. We look forward to working together with him.”
Hulkenberg said: “I’m really looking forward to working with the Sauber F1 Team. It’s a well-placed team and very competitive. Plus it’s a team in which young drivers have repeatedly delivered exceptional performances. I would like to take up that baton.
“The Sauber F1 Team is currently going through a very positive development and I’m certain that together we can achieve a lot. Until that time I will remain fully focused on my job with the Sahara Force India Team. I’d like to thank the management at Sahara Force India for giving me the chance to return to Formula One as a team driver.”