Reserve role at Force India beckons for H?â??lkenberg

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico H?â??lkenberg’s manager Willi Weber indicates his driver may drive for Force India in practice in 2011.

Update: F1 Fanatic will be interviewing Mika Hakkinen tomorrow. If there’s anything you’d like to ask the 1998 and 1999 world champion please post your suggestions in the comments and I’ll take a look at them before the interview.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Weber: Virgin-Angebot f?â??r H?â??lkenberg (Auto Motor und Sport)

Weber also said he had turned down the offer of a drive at Virgin for H?â??lkenberg. Here’s an automatic translation.

F1 team may run afoul of Canada’s tobacco laws (The Globe and Mail)

“The revival of the legendary John Player Special-Lotus colours may be great for nostalgic Formula One fans, but the historic black and gold paint scheme may cause some headaches for its team during Canadian Grand Prix in June.”

Have whisky, will travel (Stuff)

“An Indian billionaire jetted into Christchurch to “hand-carry to Glasgow” three bottles of whisky. […] The bottles left Christchurch yesterday with Indian liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who owns the Whyte & Mackay company, which took over the Mackinlay distillery that produced the whisky more than a century ago.”

Honda RA272 (Brendan’s grain of rice)

Smart Lego model of a 1965 Honda RA272, the car the team scored its first Grand Prix win with in Mexico that year, driven by Richie Ginther.

Via the Live F1 Twitter app

Two days of work at Maranello for Massa (Ferrari)

“On Monday, the Brazilian was tackling a session in the simulator, also meeting Aldo Costa and Nikolas Tombazis, who brought him right up to date with the latest developments on the new car.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Here’s a winning combination of interesting comment and cracking user name:

Although Denny Hulme spoke to me once in New Zealand when I was working for McRae I voted for Emerson who I had only seen in the pits in the US but I never talked to him.

Denny was a terrible thrasher of dog rings in the Hewland transaxle; they would never last through practice, let alone the race.

Emerson at least tried new car construction with an Aluminum honeycomb tub in the Copersucar which was way ahead of it?óÔéĽÔäós time.
Tinakori Road

From the forum

Good to see one of by favourite threads by polishboy808 still running: Your Street Circuit.

Happy birthday!

A very happy birthday to MarkG!

On this day in F1

MarkG shares his birthday with two drivers who raced in 2010.

Happy birthdays also to Jenson Button, who is 31 today, and Karun Chandhok, who turns 27!

Image ?é?® Cosworth

148 comments on “Reserve role at Force India beckons for H?â??lkenberg”

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  1. Reading that article translated was quite amusing :P

    Force India can’t be having Liuzzi in 2011… surely??

    1. I think this new HĂĽlkenberg buzz pretty much confirms he’s out…

      1. I do hope so. As i’ve said before I really wanted to give the Italian a chance at the start of 2010, but looking back at the season it really would be a tragedy if the 2nd driver was Liuzzi whilst Hulkenberg waited on the sidelines!

        1. I think it’ll be more of a case of Hulkenburg on the sidelines with di Riesta in the second seat.

          1. James, I hope you’re right about di Resta in a race seat, that was very good news indeed!

            Liuzzi has had his chance, he is a driver who has underperformed in F1. On paper Liuzzi has all the credentials to do very well in the top level.

            Anyways, salivating over the 2012 Force India dream-team of di Resta and Hulkenberg! Although I guess in reality the Hulk is just a 1 year refugee?

        2. Aside from Liuzzi and his management team I think there’s only one bloke on the entire planet that thinks’s Liuzzi deserves the seat…

          1. Montezemolo?

          2. I know! I know!
            I spy with my little eye,
            someone with the initials J.S.!

          3. and he will give you 10 reasons why liuzzi is better than all drivers.

          4. But if all other reasons fail to turn up … Liuzzi has a contract!

            I suppose he will end up getting put into the HRT seat. A good chance for him to show he can do development and HRT gets a great driver (well relatively) in at least one of the cars.

          5. For anybody who didn’t get my drift, Cacarella is right, I’m refering to Joe Saward

          6. Liuzzi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          7. 1 – Best helmet design on the grid.
            2 – Some excellent qualifying performances (Canada 2010)
            3 – Some excellent race performances (Korea 2010)
            … I’ll have to think for the other 7!

          8. @Ned

            There’s only one bloke on the entire planet that thinks’s Liuzzi deserves the seat…

            If you are referring to J.S., then we are in two… and I know a frind that supports him… 3… out of 6,803,000,000 (Wikipedia) isn’t bad at all!

          9. Fixy, you’re fight, his qualifying performance at Montreal was incredible. I think he was quite lucky to end up 6th at Korea but it was still a good drive. But unfortunately that just isn’t enough

      2. miguelF1O (@)
        19th January 2011, 12:18

        anyway Hulkenberg is going to probably be the best rookie to be out of the F1 ever

        1. How about Fernando Alonso?

          1. He came back a year later, i think. But if Hulkenberg isn’t racing next year i doubt that he would come back again.


    Let’s have a little straw poll. Who else has spent the last 10 years misreading the F1 logo?? Turns out the 1 is between the F and the speed lines, which I always assumed was the 1.

    Needless to say, the revelation blew my mind to smithereens…

    1. Really? That’s funny, I always thought the 1 was fairly obvious… I guess it’s only obvious once you notice it’s there.

    2. Ha yes! I too always saw the ‘speed lines’ as the 1. When I realised what the logo was actually supposed to be I think I had an aneurysm. But I still read it as I always did, and, out of my control, it’ll never change.

      1. I think I had an aneurysm

        Yup, me too. I’m gonna have to spend tomorrow cleaning up the brain explosion.


    3. Really, it’s hard for me to see that the speed lines could be the 1, I think it is pretty obvious that the one is between the F and the speed lines

      1. **Facepalm**

    4. Omg!I never noticed that before. I too always though the red bit was the 1!

      1. Are you guys having a laugh?

        Left side of brain vs right side of brain stuff I think

    5. Haha I’ve only just recently had the exact same revelation!

    6. I honestly never had that problem. From the get-go I was able to make out the 1 between teh F and the speed lines.

      1. Me too. I don’t understand what the fuss is about.

        1. I’m seriously surprised how many people didn’t get it.

      2. I also saw that pretty soon. Maybe because i am a left hand person?

    7. … Ned… … … … O.o … … My god man! You’ll destroy us all with this kind of talk…

      I wonder if Keith knew……

    8. Can’t believe I’ve never realised that

      1. Maybe it’s really F11

    9. Well, I always assumed the speed lines were the 1 as well, I thought It was a clever thing they did, apparently not

    10. What has been seen, cannot be unseen!

    11. Mind officially blown.

    12. Yeh I only realised this late last year.

    13. Yeah I always assumed the speed lines were the 1 as well!

      1. I’ve followed F1 or 15 years now, and the first 7 or so of them I thought the ‘speed lines’ were the ‘1’

        I think it’s because the real ‘1’ is always negative space. It’s never coloured, always taking on the colour of the background, of even worse, the TV picture behind it, making that negative space seem even more insignificant.

        It doesn’t help that the ‘speed lines’ take on the shape of a 1.

        Maybe they need a new logo…

        1. The speed lines don’t really look like a 1 though. They’re closer to the shape of a 4 than a 1.

      1. Wow I’ve never noticed the arrow in FedEx either! Perhaps I just have a wonky brain…

        1. DAMMIT, never saw the one, never saw the arrow. Great spot Ned, reckon i’ve the same mind thing, never catch this stuff, rubbish at Were’s Wally

          I’ve pretty bad dyspraxia, reckon thats what it is for me, anyone else?

          1. See, this is why I’m suspicious of anyone that makes broad sweeping claims of solutions applicable for all humanity.

            It’s obvious we are all wandering about in 6 billion individual little bubbles of our own constructed reality.

            You could have two people looking at the same logo for a decade, and all the while they would be seeing and talking about completely different things.

            I always thought the F1 1 pretty straightforward, but I always enjoy when they sneak things into logos under the radar. Like the bear from the city of Bern’s coat of arms into the Toblerone logo:


          2. Lol Fenyman, now your showing off.


      2. I suppose with some negative space logos like the Fed Ex one you mention is that you don’t usually see the logo that large so they can be easy to miss.

        Also personally if I am reading something that has spelling mistakes but only minor ones I tend to miss them if the words look right, so it could be something similar to that.

    14. Ned you had a sober day? hahaha…That will teach you!


    15. miguelF1O (@)
      19th January 2011, 12:23

      if they had decided to put the logo on a black background it would be obvious but maybe their idea was to create a logo that could be read from 2 different ways

    16. Wow, same thing here! 12 years of looking at this logo and misreading it!

    17. Same here I always thought the red speed lines were the 1 but when you realise the space is the 1 it seems rather obvious.

    18. Actually, whenever I look at the logo, the 1 is the first thing I see.

    19. I noticed that “1” of the F1 in 2002, but yes, when I did it I was like shocked, feeling dumb, I don’t know how couldn’t I see it before!!!
      Excellent question Ned

    20. My sister made me notice, I always thought the red lines were the 1, I didn’t think of its strange shape. Now the white 1 pops up as soon as I see the logo.

    21. Speed lines = Bahrain flag?

  3. Happy b-day MarkG, Button, and Cowboy Karun Chandhok!

    1. Right, a very happy birthday to all of you. Here are some birthday wishes:

      MarkG – have a great season of fandom, Button – beat the guy in the other car in Qualli several times and Karun get some friday driving in at least 2-4 weekends at Team Lotus.

  4. I was thinking about translating the main points of the German article so you don’t have to put up with the automatic translation, but seriously, there are so many errors in that article it is a pain to read. Thats a big car magazine in Germany, one should think they can hire journalists who are capable of writing properly in their native language.

    Nevertheless: Question about the best drivers at the moment answered by Weber: Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel. Weber would love to be Vettels manager, then some blabbering.
    About HĂĽlkenberg: they wondered what to do, decided that the business moves too quickly to take a break. They want a team that is at least as good as Williams because he can’t learn anything anymore from newcomers. He can’t confirm a friday drive at Force India but confirms turning down Virgin for being new and as Berger chimes in, Glock is good enough to come out on top against HĂĽlkenberg at least sometimes. Then they express their concerns about how it could be a bad thing that drivers like HĂĽlkenberg don’t get a seat in F1.

    So, nothing really new. I sort of agree with Berger about Glocks speed, I wish he woud be rewarded with points sometimes.

    Oh and the Lego model is really cool.

  5. Happy Birthday to Jenson Button and Karun Chandhok.

    It’s a tough decision but I think it would have been better for Nico to have a seat in Virgin racing as this way he will carry more on track experience then been a test driver & only get chances every once in a while in Friday.But on the other hand given his talent he will consider a test role in Force India.

    1. The problem is one of reputation. If he gets beaten by Glock in a Virgin, Red Bull or Mercedes aren’t going to have him on the phone are they?

      But for his driving, I think your right.

  6. I unforcinatly is going to go down in history with Perry Mccarthey and Giorgio Pantano. One of those really good drivers who couldn’t get the break he needs. It’ll be a sad tale, but that’s F1.

  7. I unforcinatly the hulk is going to go down in history with Perry Mccarthey and Giorgio Pantano. One of those really good drivers who couldn’t get the break he needs. It’ll be a sad tale, but that’s F1.

    1. Nope, he’s going to go down in history as the architect of his own destruction. He wants to race, but he keeps turning down race contracts.

      1. Agreed, I’ll have no sympathy for him now if he never gets a race seat. There are quite a few who would have killed for the Virgin seat.
        He must be very confident about getting the reserve driver position!

      2. Architect of his own destruction??? Driving for Virigin would be destruction! At least at Force India hill will have a chance to prove his worth as apposed to becoming the next Timo Glock who will struggle/never find a seat within a competitive car again.

        1. At Force India, he’ll be testing and reserve driver. He’ll get some Friday practice – when times pretty much mean nothing – but not like Ricciardo at Toro Rosso, who will test every Friday. At Virgin, he would have raced every weekend, even if he was off the pace because of the car. When 2012 comes around, team principals will be looking at drivers with the most experience. If Nico Hulkenberg thinks he can waltz into something like Webber Red Bull seat without any sponsorship and having sat 2011 out on the sidelines, he’s kidding himself. Driving a Virgin or a Hispania might be an inglorious job at best, but it would keep him in the sport and significantly improve his chances at getting a better 2012 drive. If he sits 2011 out, then the best he can hope for in 2012 is an entry-level drive like Virgin or Hispania.

          1. I tend to agree with Berger here: If Glock is faster, then Hulk will never get a seat anywhere again. We don’t know how Huk fares in a bad car, but we know Glock is good at it and clearly the number one in the team. I think Glock would beat Hulk consistently (not always, but on a regular basis) and after a season like that, good luck finding HĂĽlkenberg a seat in any car anywhere.

          2. good luck finding HĂĽlkenberg a seat in any car anywhere.

            Especially since Willi Weber is trying to build an image for Hulkenberg. Sebastian Vettel might be the fast, young Germand, but I suspect that what Weber really wants is to get Hulkenberg into a Mercedes alongside Schumacher. That way, he’ll be a young, fast Germand in a German team, learning from one of the greatest drivers (who is also German). When Schumacher leaves Mercedes, Hulkenberg would be taking over the reins as the New Hope Of Germany.

    2. there was a piece in the latest F1 Racing magazine actually about Giorgio Pantano. I never cared much for the lower formula back then and never noticed him. But I guess Hulkenberg could be another Pantano in that they seem godlike in the lower formulae but couldn’t quite get a good break in the big time. Btw, wasn’t Liuzzi also meant to have been a godlike karter once?

  8. The Last Pope
    19th January 2011, 4:06

    Thanks Canada. At least someone has been listening to my posts lol. Now ban the damn awful thing and hopefully the other countries will follow.

    1. I don’t know why anyone thinks Renault will have a problem – their new livery does NOT look anything like the JPS Lotud.

      The JPS livery looked classy and timeless
      The new Renault livery looks ugly and too bulky…

      After an outstanding livery last year they’ve gone back to something on a par with the ING monstrosity. I wonder the usual livery designer was off sick when they were designing the 2010 one?? lol

      1. It’s really just the red that ruins it. If they’d done this, it wouldn’t have been so bad, in fact it would’ve been pretty decent, although not as nice as the Lotus Racing livery…

  9. It would be funny if after all the arguments and posturing over the Lotus issue, that Group Lotus was forced to change their livery at certain rounds.

    1. As far as I remember they can’t. I’m sure the regs say both cars have to run the same livery all season. Perhaps they could get special dispensation to change – as long as it doesn’t require all the other teams to approve the change!

      1. They can run unique liveries in the place of tobacco branding. Renault actually used to do it a lot when they were backed by Mild Seven; they changed all the Mild Seven logos to “Team Spirit” and had a design that looked like comets on the car. I believe the rules about livery changes only extend so far as to prevent teams from significantly changing liveries over the course of the season. They can change the details, but not the basic color scheme. So if Renault ran a black livery with all of their sponsors in white or blue or green instead of gold and maybe do something about those thick gold lines, then they should be free to race in Canada without having broken the no-livery-changes rule.

        1. Yeah, those rules can’t be too strict. HRT finished the season last year with a different livery than they started with, and often teams have run special liveries, like Red Bull’s Star Wars or Wings For Life liveries…

          1. You’ll notice HRT’s livery didn’t change too much. All they did was take the white out of the design and make the red and yellow look like it had been (crudely) painted on. Which is probably was.

  10. Surely Liuzzi has to make way for The Hulk?!

    1. Paul di Resta is the favourite for the seat, with Hulkenberg testing and filling the reserve role, maybe with regular Friday running in FP1.

      1. Fair point. Di Resta deserves it more so. I just don’t want to see talent go to waste.

  11. Wake up Boys! Liuzzi will surely get a seat. Vijay told me yesterday…

    1. … when you flew him over to pick up that great crate of drink!

  12. “On Monday, the Brazilian was tackling a session in the simulator, also meeting Aldo Costa and Nikolas Tombazis, who brought him right up to date with the latest developments on the new car.”

    NT: So Felipe this button is for the KERS, this light shows when you can use the new switchable rear wing…

    FM: And this light here? What’s that for?

    NT: Ah, now that one will light up when Fernando is faster than you…

    1. Haha, COTD I think.

      Like “Felipe Baby”, this will never get old…

    2. HounslowBusGarage
      19th January 2011, 13:15


    3. ROFLMAO

      COTD, no doubt.

  13. Just a small observation: taking a test role isn’t always a passport to sitting on the sidelines for ten years (as Badoer, Wurz, De La Rosa and some others have done).

    Alonso raced a Minardi (without distinction) for a year then took a test role at Renault and we all know how that worked out…

    1. Sure … if you take a testing role with a team that can win races. Not with Force India.

      1. By testing for Force India he’s effectively joining the Mercedes ‘family’, and they are very much a team that can aspire to win races

      2. With the exception of the German GP in ’97, (Benetton-)Renault didn’t win a race from the end of ’95 when Schumacher left until Hungary 2003 (by Alonso).

        Force India haven’t won a race since 2003 (in the Jordan incarnation). They have good engines and stable ownership. Who says they can’t do similar?

    2. Testing was a much better option in past years though but it’s so limited now the best Hulk can do will be sessions on a Friday. Still, a driver with Hulk’s talent shouldn’t need to worry to much about their future esp as Ned points out he is in Merc’s fold now.

      1. …and if he could outperform Sutil in practice sessions it would put him in a good position to take over for Schumacher when he re-retires. Although Di Resta will probably have a shot at that as well if he performs at FI.

    3. When Alonso was a test driver at Renault it was before the testing ban so Alonso still managed to get plenty of time in the car.

      1. True, but he’ll do all the demo work and have time left over to do ‘other series’ – DTM, maybe GT1 etc – to keep his racing skills in trim.

    4. we have to remember that his manager was Briatore and Briatore was putting him there for him to develop before getting the big time. You have to admit Briatore has an eye for talent. He brought the Schu in, and the Schu-killer 10 years later

  14. Maybe ask Mika, weather he doesn’t fancy buying this yacht:

    Looks like something for a Mallya or maybe for Bernie in case he decides to ditch the Monaco GP and have it on a yacht instead!

  15. Question for Mika: What was going through your mind before you made that amazing overtaking move on Schumacher? (Spa 2000) One of the highlights of your career?

    1. he already answered that question in the post race interview….

  16. McLarenFanJamm
    19th January 2011, 15:01

    Question for Mika:

    What stopped you coming back to F1 after you sabbatical? Lack of top drives available or was the hunger not there anymore?

    I always felt there was more he could give to the sport.

  17. Who does Mika think will be the 2011 world champ? What does he think on Vettel’s 2010 title? If Mika were to make a comeback, does he fancy his chances of winning?

  18. Only say to MIKA HAKKINEN that in Italy there are so many supporters of the Flying Finn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Question for Mika
    Who will the best between Lewis and Jenson in 2011?

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