F1 »

Hulkenberg: Jerez acid test for Sauber move

Nico Hulkenberg appears happy with his decision to join Sauber for 2013, but admits that he won't know what to expect until testing begins.
Nico Hulkenberg says he has settled into life as a Sauber driver following his move from Force India, but insists that he won't be able to pass true judgement on his new team until its 2013 car hits the track.

The German, who was being considered by both Ferrari and McLaren for the coming season, will partner rookie Esteban Gutierrez at Sauber and admits that he has been impressed by what he has found at Hinwil, but insists that the real confirmation that his decision was the right one will have to wait until the opening pre-season test at Jerez early next month.

“There are no issues at the moment, [but] it's not until you are out on track, running the car, that you uncover issues or weaknesses,” he told the official F1 website, “Jerez will be the acid test.”

The new C32 is due to be unveiled on 2 February, giving Hulkenberg and Gutierrez a full chance to develop the car through the three scheduled tests at Jerez and Barcelona, but the German is already pleased with the progress being made in his new working relationship. Sauber is the third team of Hulkenberg's short F1 career – following one-year stints at both Williams and Force India – but the former F3 and GP2 champion has shrugged off the challenges of settling in to his new surroundings and is focused on the job ahead.

“[Changing teams] was not always my choice, except for the switch to Sauber,” he reasoned, “At the end of 2010, I was more or less forced into a team change!

“Being confronted with such a situation, you simply have to get on with the job and get to know the new people you work with from now on. Some procedures in the teams are similar, nevertheless there are differences in details, which you have to learn and get used to. You could say that I am right now in a new phase of learning.

“I have been around many times in the last couple of weeks to meet the team, including my future engineers and mechanics, [and] the most difficult thing at first is to remember all the new names. Otherwise, there is no difficulty, as such, in becoming part of a new team. It is a process and experience which takes a bit of time, but it's a very valuable time that can pay off during the season.

With no track action permitted between the final race of 2012 in Brazil and the start of testing in southern Spain next month, Hulkenberg's attention has been on fine-tuning aspects of his new office before it hits the road.

“During this time of the year, [the focus] is always to make me comfortable in the car,” he confirmed, “Making a good seat in which I feel comfortable is very important. Luckily, I fit in well, so I am ready for testing in Jerez at the beginning of February.”





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber C31 Third Driver. 08.11.2012. Formula 1 Young Drivers Test, Day 3, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
23.11.2012- Free Practice 1, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C31
23.11.2012- Free Practice 1, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Sauber F1 Team C31
Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber C31 in a team photo.
23.11.2012- Free Practice 1, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
28.10.2012- Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
20.07.2014- Race,  The Podium: winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 2nd Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36, 3rd Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.07.2014-  Team Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates the victory of Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and the 3rd place of Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.07.2014- Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33
20.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.07.2014- Race, Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33 stop on the track
20.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.07.2014- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07
20.07.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.07.2014- Race, Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33 return to the garage after the retire
20.07.2014- Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.07.2014- Race,  The Podium: winner Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 2nd Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36, 3rd Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.07.2014- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Manxie - Unregistered

January 16, 2013 10:58 AM

The Hulk to me is one of very few real potential WDC's on the grid. Forget di Rasta, Senna, Maldenado, Vergne etc. Him and Perez (all be it Perez makes more mistakes) are proper talent. I think Sauber had a lucky break this past season, with the tyres changing for 2013 they might struggle again. I do hope this will not be the case and Hulk will deliver some awesome races for him to secure a seat with either Ferrari, McL or RBR. just MHO

BMFBW - Unregistered

January 17, 2013 11:50 AM

@Manxie - Absolutley! We tend to acknowledge Button as a master of changeable conditions... ...who was the only other guy in Brazil to stay on slicks? That's right! Nico! And Nico's a much more exciting driver than Jenson - not afraid to give Lewis a run for his money! As ever when there's some sort of continuity in the rules, I can see Sauber producing a solid car, but not one that's particularly fast, which isn't so good! Having said that, allied to the talent of the Hulk, we could all be suprised this year!



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.