Nico Hulkenberg's manager has said it isn't certain that the German will stay with Sahara Force India for the 2013 F1 season amidst reports that he could be on the move for the new campaign.
The 25-year-old returned to a race seat with the Silverstone-based squad this season having acted as test and reserve driver in 2011 and heads into the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend sitting 14th in the standings – with a best result of fourth in Belgium.
The former GP2 champion has been linked with a number of teams for next season, with the BBC
suggesting that he is one of three drivers – alongside Force India team-mate Paul di Resta and current driver Felipe Massa – to be in the running to partner Fernando Alonso at Ferrari next year.
Speculation in Switzerland has also suggested that Hulkenberg could be an option for Sauber for 2013 but Timo Gans said it was still possible, although not certain, that the German wouldn't go anywhere.
"There's a pretty good chance that Nico is staying with Force India,” he told Sport1
. "This is not certain yet. We are not yet in a position to announce something."
While the speculation continues, Hulkenberg will hope to secure a strong result for Force India this weekend at Suzuka in what will almost be a debut race, given his first appearance at Suzuka back in 2010 ended before turn one after a collision with the Renault of Vitaly Petrov.
“My race in 2010 with Williams was not especially memorable because I was taken out before the first corner,” he said. “That was a real shame because it's a track I really enjoy and with corners like the 'S' curves it's a great experience in a Formula One car.
“Suzuka is definitely one of my favourite circuits: it's really challenging and technical, and you need a good car balance to hook up a good lap. Because it's so technical it's important to find a good rhythm because if you mess up one corner you can lose the flow of the whole lap.
“I'm feeling positive and we have generated some good momentum within the team recently so I want to keep that going. The goal is to keep getting consistent results in the points.”