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Hulkenberg: Plenty of potential in new car

Nico Hulkenberg says he feels he has made the right decision in his move to Sauber after solid pre-season to date - with 'potential' in the new C32
Nico Hulkenberg says he can 'feel potential' in the new Sauber C32 after concluding his second test in the car in Barcelona on Thursday.

Hulkenberg switched to the Swiss team for 2013 from Force India and will hope to replicate the kind of performances that saw both Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi take podium finishes last year.

Thus far, Hulkenberg has shown some encouraging speed at the wheel of his new car and he said there was plenty of potential to be unlocked as the team continues to work towards the new season.

“I definitely feel potential,” he told the official F1 website. “But where we will end up with this potential on the grid, I don't know. Melbourne will tell us that.

“I am happy with what I feel so far and how the car handles, bearing in mind that there is always room for improvement. Having said that, I have no idea where this will place us in the current pecking order and I doubt if any of my driver colleagues has a clearer picture. Winter testing is simply something completely different from a race weekend: now everybody is running his own programme trying to figure out how the car works and how the car works together with different tyre compounds and different fuel loads.

“What lap times these programmes produce is mainly of negligible importance - the importance is to eliminate errors. On a race weekend it is completely the opposite: everything you do - all Friday and Saturday morning - is meant to produce the fastest time possible in one lap.”

When news broke of Hulkenberg's decision to move away from Force India, questions were raised in some quarters over whether or not his decision to sign with Sauber was simple a sideways step – given the German had previously been mentioned as a possible replacement for Felipe Massa at Ferrari.

However, the 25-year-old insisted that he stood by the decision to join the Swiss team and said there was no reason why he couldn't take his career to the next level in Sauber colours.

“I am happy with where I am - bearing in mind of course that I've only done two tests so far and the season hasn't begun yet,” he said. “Ask me after a few races - then it is much easier to answer that question. What I can speak about right here, right now is my own personal feeling: I am confident that I've made the right decision. That is good enough for me.

You never know, the big breakthrough might be here at Sauber. The team had four podiums last year, so who knows? I want to be in Formula One and be successful in the long term, but I don't have a schedule telling me that in two years' time I have to have done that or achieved this. Life is very individual and sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don't, so you always have to be ready to redirect your life and ambitions.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber C32. 21.02.2013.
Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
21.09.2014 - Race, Celebration, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 is applauded by his team
21.09.2014 - Race, Pit stop, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
21.09.2014 - Race, Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03 leads Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C33
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21.09.2014 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36 leads Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
21.09.2014 - Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C33, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
21.09.2014 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36
21.09.2014 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
21.09.2014 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
21.09.2014 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
21.09.2014 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
21.09.2014 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
21.09.2014 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 leads Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
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westy - Unregistered

February 25, 2013 5:14 PM

didnt say it would less his chances but if a seat comes at ferrari at the end of 2013 then the 2 or 3 year contract he made with sauber he aint gan have the chance surley plus i know that both drivers aint garenteed to be in top ten every race think you need to chill out a bit mate yourve just gone a bit mad and making up crap that i didnt say i said tricky to get into top ten not fukin impossible .......

Yak - Unregistered

February 24, 2013 11:05 PM

Westy - Sauber are already considered to some degree to be a jr Ferrari team, so I don't know why you think Hulkenberg has lessened his chances of a Ferrari drive by going to Sauber. Force India's future isn't exactly looking certain either, considering VM's financial situation. Also, you named the supposed top 5 teams, but that doesn't necessarily mean both drivers will be up there. Massa might fall back into his rubbish form. Perez might struggle in the McLaren (or even Button, as he did for a period last year). Grosjean might not finish enough races to get anywhere in the points, etc.



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