Hulkenberg tipped for Sauber switch

F1 Fanatic round-up

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Korea International Circuit, 2012In the round-up: Moves afoot in the driver market as Sauber are reported to be set for a complete change of line-up.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Hulkenberg to join Sauber in 2013 (BBC)

“Esteban Gutierrez, the team’s reserve driver, is tipped as a partner for the German, which would leave Kamui Kobayashi without a seat.”

Massa secures Ferrari future (Autosport)

“A stronger second half to the campaign and impressive drives in Japan and Korea have sealed his place at the team – with it understood that a deal will be sorted out imminently.”

Next updates will be key – Alonso (ESPN)

“We didn’t bring anything new to the last six or seven races, so we are doing what we can at the moment and trying to save points, which I think we are doing perfectly every Sunday. It was a perfect Sunday for us with a good start, a good strategy and then a finish on the podium. I think it was a very strong Sunday but hopefully we will make a little bit of a step in performance and we can fight for bigger things.”

Lewis Hamilton: “This is a year to forget I think…” (Adam Cooper’s F1 Blog)

“It?s a day to forget. This is a year to forget I think as well. I?m looking forward to a fresh start next year. I didn?t give up the whole race, I tried my hardest, but it was a real disaster. Three stops, what could I do?”

Lotus E20 – Coanda effect exhaust (Lotus)

“Lotus are the last team to follow the trend for the Coanda-effect exhaust system, introducing it from Friday in Korea on Kimi Raikkonen’s car, providing exhaust-boosted airflow over the rear brake ducts and around the diffuser sides.”

Horner: Red Bull were right on the limit (Sky)

“Every time they bring up a slow motion and you see bits of inner edge flying off – I decided not to look at those from about half distance.”

Korean GP – Conference 4 (FIA)

Sebastian Vettel: “Obviously we try to look after [the tyres] during the whole of the last stint, because we’ve seen in the stint before how sudden the front tyre can lock up and you can lose control of the front tyres, so obviously we didn’t want to run into that sort of problem again, especially with pressure from behind so even if you have quite a big gap, when you start to struggle a lot with these tyres, then there is a lot of time lost within a couple of laps – I’m speaking of a couple of seconds per lap, so we didn’t know that. As I said, we controlled that very well so we still had some shoes left, tyres were not new but they were not completely worn until the end so I was going a little bit quicker in the last sector so that’s why the lap time was pretty similar to what I started with in the beginning of the stint, but calculate the difference of fuel and it’s a big difference.”

Bernie Ecclestone risked $100m over F1 sale (The Telegraph)

“BayernLB, the state-owned German bank, paid Mr Ecclestone $41m for acting as a guarantor, but it is now considering suing him to get the money back.”

Monisha Kaltenborn: Meet F1’s female powerhouse (The Independent)

“Kaltenborn has never directly experienced sexism or racism in racing, and says: ‘I don’t see any of that. It’s more about who are the stronger teams and the weaker teams, and there it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman.'”

Tooned – Episode 8: Lecture Circuit (YouTube)


Comment of the day

@Andae23’s verdict on the race:

I think this race perfectly demonstrated what?s wrong with Formula 1 anno 2012. There has been a lot of critisism about the DRS zone between turns two and three: it had been elongated, and – surprise, surprise – overtaking there was as easy as stealing candy from a baby.

For the circuit itself: though more people enjoyed the race from the stands this year, still it is unable to win over the Koreans to suddenly care about racing. I will just keep my mouth shut about the Astroturf. One should really ask himself: why turn down great European circuits with loads of fans, and go racing in a swamp three hours away from the nearest airport?

Anyway, back to the actual racing: it was not as interesting at the front, but heck yeah it was interesting at the back! Starting the race with a great battle between Toro Rosso and Williams (I believe Vergne pulled of a great pass on Maldonade).

Also the Hulkenberg/Grosjean battle was very entertaining throughout the race, with climax being Hulkenberg passing both Grosjean and Hamilton at turn four. There were some other battles down the field, that were unfortunately not shown on TV.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Fer No. 65 and Sebastiaan Huizinga!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

And happy birthday to Bruno Senna who is 29 today.

Image ?? Sahara Force India F1 Team

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97 comments on Hulkenberg tipped for Sauber switch

  1. sushant008 (@sushant008) said on 15th October 2012, 9:32

    if Hulk is at Sauber, i want Koba at Force would be nice to have an Asian there..

    • I don’t think a Sauber move would be a good idea, he’s not making huge progress by going there and he doesn’t know the team. It may harm his career, which is a shame since he is a great driver.

      • Eleanore (@leucocrystal) said on 15th October 2012, 9:55

        I do think it’s a bit strange for Hulkenberg to move from Force India to Sauber; performance-wise it’s basically a sideways move, and the only reason I can think of would be possibly to avoid any potential upcoming issues trickling down from all the financial trouble Vijay Mallya is in…

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th October 2012, 11:17

          I wonder @leucocrystal whether Ferrari might have anything to do with it, as a couple of weeks ago some people were saying some kind of deal between Hulk and them had already been inked, but then they decided to keep on Massa anyway.

          So Maybe gave Sauber a bit of an incentive with the engine prices to take him, so he would be ready to jump in if they need him for 2014 (dependent on what kind of performance clauses are in the contracts between them and Vettel and Vettel with RBR). Maybe I am making it too complicated here, but its just the kind of thing one would expect from Ferrari!

          • @bascb – And there were other rumours saying Ferrari are looking rather at Paul Di Resta than Nico Hulkenberg for replacing Massa. The fact is, rumours are rumours and I think Massa’s seat was always safe with Ferrari, despite his poor performance in the first part of the season. Otherwise, they would have grabbed Perez way before McLaren did. It’s most probable neither Force India drivers ever had a real actual chance with the Scuderia. Not for 2013 at least.

            As for Nico’s move, @leucocrystal – there’s a lot of logic to it. Force India is in deep financial trouble whether Mallya wants to admit it or not. Not enough trouble to throw them into bankruptcy and close the lid on their F1 effort but enough to hinder certain development aspects inside the team.

            In this light of events, why would jumping ship to a team that has a certain financial backing for next year AND a good platform (Key’s 2012 car) to build something on AND that had slightly better results than Force India this season, be strange? Plus, Sauber is a much better launch platform than Force India. How many drivers have been supplied to the top teams via Sauber in recent history (since 2000) and how many via Jordan / Midland / Spyker / Force India? I’m sure Hulkenberg doesn’t aim to end his career with the swiss team. He wants to go even further to one of the top 5 establishments and Sauber are the most specialised in delivering drivers to the top teams’ doorsteps at the moment.

            And besides all this, I’m quite fond of EJ’s argument, that Hulkenberg was just looking to join a germanophone team. Some things have the simplest explanations… :)

        • sushant008 (@sushant008) said on 15th October 2012, 12:01

          @leucocrystal i dont think mallya’s financial troubles are gonna affect the team..their co-owners Sahara is a wealthy company..and vijay’s liquor business is still in profit.

  2. kenyaf1 said on 15th October 2012, 9:40

    As a Vettel fan, I’m glad he has taken the champoinship lead and seems to be on his way to a hat-trick of WDC titles.
    I now get it that if you are winning, people will never say you are the best, and will come up with reasons to diminish your achievement and excuses to cover up others shortcomings. I have heard it all, ‘it’s because redbull have the best car and the best engineers’, or ferrari don’t have a good car etc etc.
    Apparently, he’s behind a guy who last won 6 years ago and has driven for 3 different cars, and a guy who won once and since then everyone seems to have made up their mind that he is the best. SMH.
    Anyway, it’s not over till it’s over and Alonso is in the kind of position that one slip up from Vettel and we have a new top contender. He need’s to finish above Alonso for the remainder of the season and I dont see it happening unless Alonso fails to finish atleast one race.

  3. Himmat said on 15th October 2012, 9:58

    Nice to see Massa being retained. Japan was a great race, and same with Korea. I reckon he’d have gotten second place if only Ferrari didn’t restrict him during the race, and I think for the past 4 races at least, Felipe has been matching Alonso, of not being faster than him.

    On a side note, I feel terribly sorry for Kamui. Seeing his sometimes kamikaze overtaking manouvres were a delight. I think Sauber should keep him, really.

  4. Jason (@jason12) said on 15th October 2012, 12:08

    Found it interesting that Martin Brundle and David Coulthard just basically refused to acknowledge that Lewi’s car had a mechanical problem.

  5. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 15th October 2012, 13:15

    That’s another good article on Monisha and it’s reassuring to know that she herself has never been victim of sexism. None of the principals at the moment strike me as being idiotic enough to stoop to that level so hopefully this will help balance the scales a little bit when it comes to gender in F1. That said though, I don’t believe in either gender needing to be treat like a charity case and the right person should always get the job, irrespective of sex.

  6. gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 15th October 2012, 15:30

    Tooned: “Gerhard’s burgers” made my day.

    OK for Hulkenberg at Sauber, but then I hope KK will get a seat at Force India !

  7. GT_Racer said on 15th October 2012, 19:54

    Regarding Kobayashi, The problem seems to be that Sauber don’t see him as the driver that can lead the team & help them maintain & build on there 2012 season.

    Its not a simple case of results or money, Thats what many on the outside tend to look at but teams look at far more than that. The team have all the data having worked with him for 3 years so they understand exactly what he brings to the team & they don’t see him having what they feel they need.

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