Nico Hulkenberg says he chose not to leave Sauber to drive for Lotus in the final two races because it would have been too much of a risk.
“Of course it is attractive and sounds attractive from the outside,” he said. “On the other hand it was for the last two races, which brings also some risk with it. And also after that you have to see the bigger picture which is beyond after two races, what can happen there. And that’s why we came up with this decision.
“I just went there to see Eric and to speak face-to-face about these two races as well, because obviously the future and next year is important as well, and that’s why we went to see each other and speak face-to-face.”
Regarding the risks, he said: “Stepping into a new car, which you don’t know. If I had stepped in there I don’t think people would have expected me to beat Romain right away, he seems to be fairly comfortable in the car now and in the team, he’s delivering very good results now.”
Asked by this writer if his choice would have been different had there been a 100% guarantee of a 2014 Lotus drive: “I think had that been the case that would have been a big change in the plan, for sure.”
As to whether moving at this stage would have ended his chance of driving for Sauber in 2013 he said: “Exactly…”
Hulkenberg admitted to some frustration about now knowing where his future lies.
“It is a bit tricky, and a patience game, a bit of a mind game, to be delivering and not knowing abouut the future, it’s a bit tricky. Of course I’d like to know weeks or months ago what I’m doing. The answer is it is at is, so I have to live with it and cope with it. It’s not me, half of the field is not knowing what they are doing. From that point of view on a race weekend you have to black that out, keep delivering, that’s all I can do on the circuit.
“I’m aware that we have to keep out eyes and ears open, we can’t let it slip through our hands. I think there are options and opportunities for me to be somewhere.”