Eric Boullier has reignited Nico Hulkenberg’s chances of a move to Lotus by dismissing the German’s weight as a major obstacle, instead insisting that it is a drivers outright talent and potential that matters most to the team.
Hulkenberg, who has impressed with Sauber this season, was one of the first names linked with a move to Lotus to fill Kimi Raikkonen’s vacant seat, following the announcement that the Finn is set to re-join Ferrari for 2014.
However, Hulkenberg – who at 184cm and 74kg is one of the tallest and heaviest drivers in Formula One – has faced questions over his weight recently, with reports in Korea that the 26-year-old missed out on the possibility of a drive with McLaren for 2014 due to the teams fears over the stringent minimum weight limits currently in place for next season.
The minimum weight limit in Formula One has been raised for 2014, from 642kg for both driver and car to 690kg, to accommodate the introduction of the new heavier turbo-charged engines, but with the new engines weighing in as heavier than expected, teams are reluctant to risk signing a driver whose weight could push their car over the limit.
Despite this, Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier has rejected the notion that Hulkenberg’s weight would be a barrier to signing the much-fancied German, who has impressed in recent performances in Italy and Korea.
“We’re more interested in the talent and potential of a driver rather than the difference of a few kilos,” said the Frenchman.
“We have confidence in our development team to be able to produce a car for the 2014 regulations which should be competitive in the hands of any driver we consider for next year.
“For me he is not overweight. He is at the limit, but not overweight.”
Image courtesy of Octance Photographic.