Hulkenberg: Sauber problems “a difficult situation”

2013 German Grand Prix

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2013Nico Hulkenberg admits Sauber’s financial problems are “a difficult situation” for the team.

Reports claim Sauber has been struggling to pay its bills and has stopped development of its C32 chassis.

The team’s chief designer Matt Morris recently left to join McLaren as engineering director.

During the press conference ahead of this weekend’s German Grand Prix Hulkenberg said: “I think it’s a difficult situation, like [team principal] Monisha [Kaltenborn] has told the press yesterday.”

Hulkenberg, who joined the team from Force India this year, added: “I think she and the team and the management is working on a solution and trying to work a way out of it, to get better things.”

“She’s assured me that she’s busy working on that and there’s not much more I can say other than that.”

The Sauber team was owned by BMW from 2006 to 2009 before it was sold back to founder Peter Sauber.

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28 comments on Hulkenberg: Sauber problems “a difficult situation”

  1. Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 4th July 2013, 14:39

    Didn’t Hulkenberg leave FI because of the financial situation the team was in?


  2. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 4th July 2013, 14:40

    So sad considering last year was by far their best as an independent team…

    Bad timed move by Nico too, in hindsight. But who’d have thought FI would have the upper hand financially speaking?

    • Rooney (@rojov123) said on 4th July 2013, 15:25

      Mallya would never let the force India team fall out of his hands. Too much ego at stake there. I suppose it is a good thing when it comes to f1.

    • Coanda (@ming-mong) said on 5th July 2013, 7:22

      @-Fer no.65 Yep it is cruel. The same thing happened to Webber. He had the Choice to go to either Renault or Williams and choose the later. Williams lost there BMW backing in 2006 and went down hill fast and haven’t recovered since while Alonso racked up 2 WDC at Renault.

  3. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 4th July 2013, 14:55

    Sauber’s financial difficulties are doubly worrying as they are likely to get a much smaller payout from FOM next season, and have to buy much more expensive engines. Maybe they shouldn’t have switched to HRT livery this season ;-)

  4. Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 4th July 2013, 15:07

    Poor Hulkenberg can’t catch a break – he definitely deserves a better ride than he is in just to see what he’s capable of.

    Look at the guy’s career from 2005 in the lower classes:

    • Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 4th July 2013, 15:23

      @freelittlebirds it was Hulk’s decision to leave SFI. They had planned on keeping him. It was a bad choice.

      • Rooney (@rojov123) said on 4th July 2013, 15:28

        No one foresaw this happening. Everyone thought it was a good move. the only chance for him is that Ferrari might hire him at the end of this season

        • LeJimster said on 4th July 2013, 17:13

          TBH, I kinda saw this happening. I wasn’t expecting such a massive dip in form for Sauber.. But I think most of the pundits missed that the car was *very* average on atleast 50% of the races last year and it appears they moved their development in the wrong direction, so it’s not really a surprise when there is no continuity with drivers.

          If I had been in Hulkenberg’s position I would have stayed with Force India, and thats not a hindsight thing.. You have to look at the development rate of Force India every year and the last few years they’ve improved their position by the end of the season, so considering the car Hulkenberg had when he made the decision, he should have known things were likely to improve further.

          There’s no doubt in my mind he would have got his first podium if he had stayed with Force India this year, he’ll be super lucky if he gets anywhere near the podium with Sauber this year. He needs a lucky Safety car and some rain or something now.

        • Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 4th July 2013, 18:02

          So, I was the only guy who at that time thought it was a very lateral move, expecting Force India and Sauber to be neck and neck this year. @rojov123

        • Michael (@freelittlebirds) said on 5th July 2013, 2:31

          I agree with @rojov123. Sauber had 4 podiums last year and Force India had 0 and still has 0 this season. A podium for Hulkenberg or a possible inherited win this season would have meant the world for his career.

          • Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 5th July 2013, 17:58

            @freelittlebirds yes, u r right. But it is also well known that Sauber’s good results were down to their understanding of their tyres, Force India hadn’t understood their tyres till mid season.

  5. I Love the Pope said on 4th July 2013, 15:23

    Good bye, Sauber. When Peter left, the team went south. Perhaps it should keep going south and become Ferrari’s B-team. Or, perhaps it should be bought by Toyota.

    Or, perhaps most sadly, it will fold.

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 4th July 2013, 15:28

    Everything seems to have gone downhill since Peter Sauber’s departure.

  7. Carlitox (@carlitox) said on 4th July 2013, 15:41

    I honestly wouldn’t want to see Sauber gone. They’re the third oldest privateer in F1 and it’s surprising how long they have survived despite all the difficulties. Still, they’re somewhat Ferrari’s “B team”, and following STR’s deal with Renault, I doubt they’ll have to pull back easily.

  8. camo8723 (@camo8723) said on 4th July 2013, 16:24

    So the Slim money wasn’t enough this season? or a bast part of the money left the team last year with Perez?

  9. LeJimster said on 4th July 2013, 17:04

    I wonder how much money Hulkenberg brings to the team compared to the package Kobayashi finally lined up? Seems like Sauber don’t have a very good management team in place if they couldn’t generate any additional sponsorship interest from their 2012 results.

  10. Deej92 (@deej92) said on 4th July 2013, 17:45

    Sauber haven’t managed to get the sponsorship of Gazprom (part of the Chelsea link) as of yet and obviously they really could do with it now. It’s quite remarkable how much they are struggling on track and financially, considering how well they did last season. Hulkenberg should have no troubles getting a good drive even if the worst happens anyway, but I really hope they stay.

    • Duds said on 5th July 2013, 13:56

      Last time Gazprom sponsored a team they never bothered paying the bill so that might not be the best thing.

  11. Joe Papp (@joepa) said on 4th July 2013, 17:49

    This is never, never a good thing, and I don’t know how the sport’s owners can tolerate the unequal and unfair distribution of revenue that DIeter Rencken has chronicled in his brilliant series of articles. The primary problem is CVC’s extraction of massive wealth from F1, followed by the radically unequal and unfair distribution of prize money that could see Lotus win WCC and still be paid substantially less than Ferrari.

    We the fans – the public – will have to take control and make our voices heard to defend the interests of the teams like Sauber! lol…

  12. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 4th July 2013, 17:50

    I really hope Sauber are able to get financial support sooner rather than later.

    It would be such a shame to see another team forced to leave the sport – especially one that’s been such a long-standing member of the grid as Sauber.

  13. Swindle94 (@swindle94) said on 4th July 2013, 18:00

    Really hope Sauber can bounce back from this. As for the Hulk, hoping kimi will vacate a seat at lotus next year if Ferrari doesn’t work out.

  14. TMF (@tmf42) said on 4th July 2013, 21:14

    I’m still wondering how much Sauber lost due to BMW’s exit and if RedBull bought Jaguar because Sauber was no longer available for sponsoring.

  15. m30 said on 4th July 2013, 23:44

    Should have stuck with Force India, Hulkenburg you greedy fool!

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