McLaren move in 2014 unrealistic, says Hulkenberg

2014 F1 season

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013Nico Hulkenberg doubts he has a realistic chance of joining McLaren next year despite rumours the team are considering a change in their driver line-up.

Speaking ahead of the Korean Grand Prix Hulkenberg said: “For sure McLaren is a great team and would be something interesting.”

“But I don’t think that is a realistic option at the moment.

Reports in German media have claimed Hulkenberg’s height would make him unsuitable for the team’s 2014 car – despite the increased weight limit which will come into force. Hulkenberg is one of the taller drivers on the grid which inevitably makes him one of the heaviest.

“[It's] not a handicap but for sure also not an advantage,” Hulkenberg conceded.

“I’d like to be 10cm smaller and therefore light but, you know, that is God-given and it’s not in power my power to change that, and I don’t want to.

“Driver weight and height is always critical because obviously designers are pushing to make the car tighter and smaller and the aero guys are seeing the benefits. But at the end of the day the driver has to fit in as well.”

Hulkenberg added he hopes to know his destination for 2014 “within the next couple of weeks”.

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27 comments on McLaren move in 2014 unrealistic, says Hulkenberg

  1. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 3rd October 2013, 17:46

    Mclaren made big mistake last year when they chose Perez instead of Hulkenberg. It’s obvious that Hulk is much more complete driver and top team, such as Mclaren, should look not to driver, which shines sometimes, but which delivers strong results and wrings everything out of the car.

    • R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 3rd October 2013, 18:01

      Hulk’s best driving came after he was already committed to Sauber for 2013, and even then, he had zero podium finishes on the season compared to Perez’s three in a car that was only, on average, 0.01 seconds slower – and actually proved to be quicker in the second half of the season, if not that, it was much more well-balanced.

      He deserves a top drive, but it’s unfair to suggest Perez was totally undeserving once his 2012 season started unraveling – he earned it on merit.

    • They did not make a mistake. They needed to replace the vodafone deal for the telmex first, this yead they can afford to ditch a driver to bring top quality.

      • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 3rd October 2013, 21:27

        Why would Telmex want to pay such money to be a title sponsor when they aren’t a global company? They may be regular sponsors like Clarovideo, but I just don’t see them being title sponsors.
        I stick by my belief that McLaren hired Perez more on talent than the money he brings.

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 3rd October 2013, 17:49

    I think I agree with him, I doubt that McLaren will really drop Perez after only one year.

  3. ThrillerWA09 (@thrillerwa09) said on 3rd October 2013, 18:25

    Seems kind of goofy that McLaren couldn’t build a car around Hulk, especially with JB as their driver, who is also 6’0″ tall. And I agree, picking up Perez was a mistake… however, there is a chance they could still dump him. Like Keith posted on Sept 30, TelMex isn’t paying McLaren, so maybe they could do a switch.

    • Telmex is not paying McLaren yet becauss of vodafone but from next year onwards that maybe the case depending on how much involvement honda will make.

    • Finally it’s curious that hulk is not that much taller than jb stil hulk mentions his height, now Im wondering, who’s going to jb’s place. Massa?

      • panache (@panache) said on 3rd October 2013, 21:53

        Hahaha dream on. The extent to which Button is dismissed as a weak driver never fails to amaze me.

      • Rybo (@rybo) said on 3rd October 2013, 21:54

        Simply put. JB is a WDC. He doesn’t have to fight for a seat, where as Hulk who doesn’t have a huge amount of sponsorship money needs a lot in his favor to secure a seat. Even this year he needed to modify is racing boots to fit in the chassis. With all of the changes in the regulations it’s essential that all of the effort goes into maximizing reliability, and set up. Not trying to wrangle a taller than expected driver.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 3rd October 2013, 22:09

      Not that goofy, to be honest. They haven’t built a good car around Button with him as their lead driver.

  4. MarkM (@mpmark) said on 3rd October 2013, 19:01

    Hulkenberg will be in a top team sooner or later, its only a matter of time. He just keeps proving that he deserves it.
    I honestly don’t know why a top team doesn’t choose pick him up, he can mature into a possible “schumacher”.

  5. Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 3rd October 2013, 19:11

    Hulk the future of F1 ! for me atleast .

    • Nickpkr251 said on 4th October 2013, 19:07

      Exactly talent not enough in midfield teams,
      you need sponsors too !
      Why take only talent when you can take both ?

      Hulk and di Resta are great, but what have they achieve other than almost there, Perez has the podiums not 1 but 3 in a sauber, yep is very easy even perez can do it ? but koba only manage one with way more experience so is fair a top team grab him.

      Hulk has been overlooked as much as di Resta, poor sponsor but nothing awesome other midfield talent have not done. They shine as much as possible and is not enough, how many more yrs to wait for a podium for those guys, 4, 5 ? Are not they same age as Vettel ?

      Hulk only chance is Force India or sirotkin not making it as Lotus is for Massa and Grojean.

      Maldonado on the other side pays for his drive and bottas is wiping the floor with him, williams will keep him one more yr.

      2-3 yrs make or break, bring next batch toro rosso policy is the way to go.

  6. kpcart said on 3rd October 2013, 19:22

    i dont understand this sudden favouratism of Hulkenburg to be in a top f1 team. i understood it when he was doing great in a1gp, but in his f1 days, he hasnt been consistently that fast. seeing him as a number 2 at ferrrari is reasonable, as you dont need great talent to be number 2 at ferrari. what has he done better then other good midfield drivers like Sutil and Glock? nothing, i think he is just flavour of the month, sutil and glock are obviously viewed as too old now.

    • Sam Gibson (@samgibson) said on 3rd October 2013, 20:09

      The desire to see Hulkenberg in a top car isn’t all that sudden in my opinion. People have been calling out for it for the last year or so. It seems more rabid now because there’s a very real chance that once all of the dominoes have fallen he could end up without a drive, which would be a travesty.
      As to him not being consistently fast, that’s because he’s not in a top car. In the smaller teams without a red bull budget speed tends to fluctuate circuit to circuit. What he has done is deliver eye-catching performances each year he has been in f1.
      I don’t want to jinx him but he’s a clean driver, a good qualifier, and a great defensive driver. If it weren’t for Lotus being unable to convince Raikkonen that they could financially back a title challenge next year, the likelihood is that Hulkenberg would be wearing red. Ferrari were obviously impressed.
      Long post, I apologise.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 3rd October 2013, 20:30

      How can you say that?

      He put some very impressive performances, both at Williams and at Force India. He could’ve won at Brazil last year on merit, and his second half of the season was superb while completely owning di Resta.

      He’s always been clean and consistent. A steady guy, very fast. I don’t really remember a time when you thought: “ah, the rookie messed it up”. He matured very well, came back after a year off, and it’d be perfect timing to move to a top team now.

    • macrob said on 3rd October 2013, 20:46

      Agreed, most of the members of this blog seem to have a big crush on “the Hulk”…its starting to get annoying…Perez did have a great campaign last year with 3 podiums (how many for the Hulk?…), McLaren took a good decision based on the facts they had. The fact that this year the car is a disaster its not JB or Perez fault, it is just rubbish and period!

      Do you want a real promise on the grid right now? His name is Jules Bianchi, who signed again for Marussia btw…

      • Yobo01 (@yobo01) said on 3rd October 2013, 21:03

        Hulkenberg has never had a car capable of scoring a podium, except maybe Brazil 2012.
        Last year’s Sauber was a very good car, both Perez and Kobayashi scored podiums.
        Perez had a great season last year and I definitely understand why Mclaren chose him.
        Still, Hulkenberg put a 2010 Williams on pole, he put a 2013 Sauber on the second row of the grid, he had an impressive second half of the season in Force India, fighting for the victory with Hamilton and Button in the last race.
        I think he has done more than enough to be in a top team.

        • macrob said on 3rd October 2013, 21:45

          Yeah I agree, he should take Vettel’s place in RB! The team’s directors must be plain dumb not to have chosen the great Hulk in these 3 past years….

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 3rd October 2013, 21:21

      He just won 100% of the points of his team this year, that’s all …

  7. Valhyre (@ausuma) said on 3rd October 2013, 19:51

    Good to hear!

  8. Prof Kirk (@prof-kirk) said on 3rd October 2013, 22:31

    it’d be a great statistic if The Hulk never stayed in the same team for more than one season.

  9. DrPepper said on 4th October 2013, 8:40

    I really hope to see the Hulk next to Massa at Lotus next year but I’m wondering what happens when Felipe inevitably absolutely destroys the most overrated driver since Sutil? Will anyone finally recognize that Hulkenberg isn’t top-team material or will everyone just go on about how Massa was kept down at Ferrari?

  10. Hamish said on 5th October 2013, 2:27

    Well given Sergey Sirotkin was 2 years off the start of his karting career when Hulkenberg was winning the A1GP series in equal cars against the likes of Briscoe and Buemi perhaps its a little overdue?

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