Nico Hulkenberg has insisted he has not given Lotus a deadline to agree a deal for the 2014 F1 season.
It had been reported that the German had told the Enstone-based operation that he wanted an answer before the end of the month on whether or not he would be signed to replace Kimi Raikkonen. However when asked about the matter in the countdown to the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend at Suzuka, Hulkenberg insisted any notion he had set some sort of time limit was not correct.
“I've not set a deadline. I think that was a misunderstanding and someone not laying it out correctly. What I've basically said is that I would like
to have clarification or certainty by the end of October,” he stated.
Hulkenberg was also asked about recent comments made by Lotus team principal, Eric Boullier
, who said driver weight won't be a deciding factor in who lines up on the grid for the team next season.
Pressed on if that was reassuring, given he is one of the heaviest drivers, Hulkenberg replied: “To be honest, not, and there's no one from the team who has personally told me that weight or height is an issue, but this whole discussion, for me, is not worth having because I am what I am and I can't change it.”
Finally, Hulkenberg was quizzed on why he has come good in the last few races, finishing fifth in Italy, ninth in Singapore and fourth in Korea last weekend: “I certainly haven't changed. I think the car [is the reason why we are doing better]."
"Of course we've put on some updates: a big one in Budapest – which we now understand better and better – and then some small bits and bobs. I think the tyres did the rest," continued the Sauber pilot.
“And what we did in Korea I think was outstanding. I'm really happy and proud about that but we probably punched above our weight there and out-performed a few cars which we shouldn't do. But there was this opportunity and we grabbed it.
"So that was very good."