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Top ten F1 Drivers of the Year vote: 4th - Nico Hulkenberg

A slow start transformed into an eye-catching finish to 2013 for Nico Hulkenberg but, while F1's leading lights may not have been moved, Crash.net readers duly rewarded the German....
Top 10 F1 Drivers of the Year 2013:
4: Nico Hulkenberg
Team: Sauber
Races: 19
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: 4th
Poles: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 51
Championship Position: 10th

2012 Driver of the Year position: 6th

On the face of it, Nico Hulkenberg's decision to join Sauber for 2013 appeared to be a good one given the Swiss team's form last season but, for the first half of the year at least, the German may well have been wishing he'd stayed at Force India.

While Sauber struggled to get its C32 working early on, its Silverstone rival was enjoying life on the 2013 Pirelli. That all changed after Silverstone and, with Sauber bringing effective updates to its car, Hulkenberg eventually became more of a factor.

Although it took until Monza for the German to make an impact, fifth place in Italy was followed by fourth in Korea, and sixth in Japan and the USA as he made a late play for tenth overall.

His performances again placed Hulkenberg in the frame for a Ferrari drive in 2014, only for Kimi Raikkonen to get the nod from Maranello, while replacing the Finn at Lotus remained a possibility amid talk of Quantum Motorsports' investment in the Enstone team.

With delays over that deal, however, Lotus plumped for Pastor Maldonado's oil millions, leaving Hulkenberg with the familiar choice of Sauber or Force India, eventually opting for a return to the latter despite its late season loss of performance.

Revealing that he had been discussing a potential return to Vijay Mallya's team since Sepang, Hulkenberg will form half of Force India's strongest line-up in years after it was announced that McLaren refugee Sergio Perez will be joining him at Silverstone. While it is not necessarily the front-running drive that the German craves - and many feel he now deserves - it may provide yet another yardstick with which to measure his ability.


Crash.net's 2013 F1 Driver of the Year – top ten to date:

5. Romain Grosjean
6. Nico Rosberg
7. Mark Webber
8. Lewis Hamilton
9. Valtteri Bottas
10. Daniel Ricciardo



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
23.11.2013- Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
08.06.2013- Free Practice 3,  Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
10.10.2013- Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
18.04.2014- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
18.04.2014- Free Practice 1, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05

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Taipan

December 28, 2013 9:54 AM

Fullofit, I can sort of understand RBR going for Ricciardo, no point having a junior team if you don't make use of it I suppose. I can also understand Lotus going for Maldonado simply because they need the money. But I can't understand McLaren not going for Hulkenberg. Magnussen might end up being great but then again he might not, he's an unknown quantity as an F1 driver, were as in Nico they would have got a proven performer. McLaren seemed to be able to help Perez find a seat after they booted him, I would have thought they would have done that with Magnussen instead and given him a year or two to prove himself at a smaller team and taken the much safer option of signing Hulk.



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