I think that Force India’s biggest problem is that although they’ve made progress from 2011, other teams have made more progress. It’s getting very crowded at the front end, with McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes and Lotus demonstrating excellent pace, and Ferrari are doing well because of Alonso’s ability to drive a car beyond its limits. In the meantime, Force India are busy squabbling with Sauber and Williams and Toro Rosso (when the drivers are actually driving). It’s really difficult to judge their overall position because of the topsy-turvy nature of the season, but it’s conditions like these that normally allow a highly-rated driver to rise up and make a name for himself. And where drivers like Perez have done that, Hulkenberg hasn’t – and he really needs to.
I’m willing to bet that he could be one of the first drivers to be replaced this year (the others being Bruno Senna and one of the Toro Rosso drivers) unless he lives up to the hype.