Nico Hülkenberg has indicated he wants his future – most likely to be with the Lotus F1 team, if rumours are to be believed – sorted out before the end of the month.
The German lost out at the eleventh hour in a battle with Kimi Räikkönen to replace Felipe Massa at Ferrari, and the Sauber driver’s next best option is to take the Finn’s soon-to-be-vacated seat with Lotus.
“I want to have some certainty about my future – and not in November,” he told AUTOSPORT, when grilled on the timeframe in which he wanted his 2014 plans locked down.
““It needs to be at the end of the month, for sure. There is obviously a certain cut off point. I have experienced falling over the back in 2010, and I am not going to risk doing that again.”
Hülkenberg’s comments are in reference to having to rebuild his career after his maiden season of racing with Williams, who – at the end of a much-lauded series of drives – dispensed with his services in favour of the much better funded Pastor Maldonado.
While there are few competitive seats left on the 2014 grid, Hülkenberg will be no less a desirable target for rival squads who would be keen to secure his services from under Sauber or Lotus’ noses if given half the opportunity.
The German had unquestionably the drive of the weekend last time out at Korea, finishing a gallant fourth after keeping a chasing pack of theoretically quicker cars at bay over the last 20 laps.
It was a drive that earned praise from Fernando Alonso, one of the men the German beat on the day.
“What Nico is doing is superb,” the Spaniard said after the race. “He is driving very, very well and deserved to be in front of us. He did a fantastic race.”
High praise indeed – one can only hope that the powers that be will recognise the talents of ‘The Hulk’ before it’s too late…