Nico Hülkenberg has been confirmed as one of the two team drivers for the Sauber F1 Team in 2013. The 25-year-old German won the GP2 Series in 2009, made his Formula 1 debut in 2010 with the WilliamsF1 Team and then moved on to Force India where he spent a year as a test driver before stepping into a race seat this season. It is interesting that he was able to leave as most Force India contracts have been a year testing and then two years of racing.
“We’ve been observing Nico for some time now and his performances have been very persuasive,” said Monisha Kaltenborn. “That was the case in GP2 and has continued into Formula 1. An obvious highlight was how he scored pole at Interlagos in 2010 despite the most challenging external conditions. He clearly showed that he can seize the chance if it arises. But high spots like that are one thing; systematic teamwork is another – and on that score I have confidence in Nico too. I’m sure he will fit in very well with the Sauber F1 Team. We look forward to working together with him.”
The team says that it will announce the second driver later.
“I’m really looking forward to working with the Sauber F1 Team,” said Nico. “It’s a well-placed team and very competitive. Plus it’s a team in which young drivers have repeatedly delivered exceptional performances. I would like to take up that baton. The Sauber F1 Team is currently going through a very positive development and I’m certain that together we can achieve a lot.”
The the moment the Sauber and Force India drivers are 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th in the World Championship, with Sergio Perez ahead with 66 points, followed by Kamui Kobayashi with 50, Hulkenberg with 49 and Paul di Resta with 44, which means that it is only a limited step forward for the German.