Hulkenberg set for Force India after Sauber turns him down

Nico Hulkenberg looks set to be with Force India next year after apparently failing in an attempt to stay at Sauber.

While the German signed a deal with Force India some time ago he had until the start of this week to make a final decision on whether to proceed – a logical move, given that the Lotus deal was still open to him. However, Pastor Maldonado has finally agreed to join the Enstone team.

Meanwhile in the light of the recent improvement in form Nico enquired about staying with Sauber. It’s believed that he was told on Sunday that it would not be possible, leaving him committed to Force India.

Despite his good performance on track he has apparently fallen out of favour off it, presumably by not only agreeing the deal with Force India, but also paying a visit to Lotus prior to the US GP, which included a seat fitting.

Force India is keen to have Hulkenberg back on board despite being snubbed in favour of Sauber in the middle of 2012.

With Sergio Perez likely to join Hulkenberg at Force India it looks increasingly likely that Adrian Sutil will leave and eventually end up Sauber.

The identity of his team mate remains the missing piece in the transfer jigsaw, as it appears that the team is unlikely to keep Esteban Gutierrez. Sauber’s Mexican sponsorship deals have now come to an end, and sources say that the team is looking elsewhere. As noted here on Monday the name of Jules Bianchi has been mentioned, but both Marussia and the Frenchman’s management have denied that it would be possible.

16 Comments

Filed under F1 News, Grand Prix News

16 responses to “Hulkenberg set for Force India after Sauber turns him down

  1. Vinicius

    Hard to believe they are turning him down because he was looking out for himself. In this economic situation, one must do what it takes to self-preserve. Sauber did just that by not paying Hulk’s salary this year…

  2. Why not DiResta to Sauber? I know they need some funding but poor guy has not done badly that he should be ignored like that..

  3. wassupF1

    Crazy F1 world!!Nico has changed ships a lot, no doubt he is talented but might be building a reputation. Adam, Do you think PDR is overlooked because of his grumpy nature and criticizing of his team?

  4. aditya

    Is Gutierrez heading to Marussia? I feel Paul deserves a 2014 seat. Sauber should consider him as an option. And, looking at the current situation can we see a return of ex-sauber driver? I mean, someone like Kobayashi?

  5. Jim Hughes

    “His father and manager Nicolas Todt”, that’s interesting, I knew the F1 world was a bit incestuous, but Jean Todt’s grandson racing in F1? Why hasn’t this been publicised more?

  6. Sven

    Interesting. It makes me wonder how good Hulk really is. It’s likely that he’s been extremely overhyped and Sauber know that he owes his success to the car. His teammate might be that bad and not Hulk who is that good.

  7. zeph

    While has had a strong end of the season, I can’t say Hulkenberg has impressed me all that much this year. Or at anytime, really.
    I think the Sauber is probably a better car than we know, and maybe Hulk is simply a very competent driver, but nothing more.

  8. Carl hall

    I thought Sirotkin had the second Sauber seat sewn up.

  9. F1_fanatic

    all you hulkenberg haters should go and look at his records in every series he’s participated in, He won the A1 GP Title hands down as the best driver, He won GP two so dominantly by outclassing his then Team mate and the guy going to Lotus ‘ Pastor Maldonado’ that season to take then GP 2 Title, he came to Williams and took pole in the wet at brazil, he has no sponsorship and only talent to offer and loads of it, he has shown he can be good in any car he has driven so far, he beat paul di resta fair n square last year and almost won the Brazilian GP in 2012, despite sitting out the 2011 season on the sidelines, until hamilton took him out ..and he over-performed in the sauber this year even when the car was difficult to drive in the first half of the season on the new set of pirelli tyres but as sauber was great on the tyres last year and this year as wel and thenl he did even better… fending off alonso and hamilton at korea and many other circuits! him being overhyped is an overstatement, no one from the F1 world will agree to it! he is destined for ferrari in the future and is definitely someone to watch, just don’t support di resta coz he’s your fellow countryman, di resta was beaten by the hulk last year by a big margin, despite the HULK missing out on a year and so di resta is losing his seat due to inconsistent performances! he was a self-obsessed&self-proclaimed star and thus was overlooked by all the top teams (Ferrari,Mc laren, Lotus) where he tried to move since 2012 and none of them wanted him and force india who gave him his first chance in F1 realised he is just an also ran and showed him his place this year where he often spoke about wanting to move to a better team, while he could himself not perform any better..who couldn’t even outclass sutil after a 1 year hiatus…and was beaten by sutil in 2011 by a huge margin! so don’t be jealous coz he got ousted by someone who has already beaten him last year!

  10. forzaminardi

    Some bizarre anti-Hulkenberg comments on here! Granted, it’s hard to be definitive about any driver until he’s in a competitive car, but it’s impossible to see what more Hulkenberg can do to prove himself worthy of that car. It wasn’t hype that got him that pole position in Brazil, or hype that had him getting the better of di Resta in 2012, or hype that got him the results he did at the end of 2013. OK, who knows how good the 2012 FI and 2013 Sauber ultimately were, but come on, give the guy some credit. You don’t have to like him, but you do have to respect his abilities and potential – all of which are more than readily apparent.

  11. F1_Fanatic

    Hulkenberg’s race craft at this years Korean GP was first rate, he put the car in the right places and defended cleanly & successfully from Hamilton and alonso, despite both of them being faster than him, without making any rash moves like most young drivers in F1 today… he will be fighting with lotus next year for 5th position in the constructors’ championship, mark my words! while grosjean & maldonado keep being first lap nut cases and crash during overtaking others!

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