Nico Hulkenberg has fired a warning shot at the Lotus F1 Team, telling them that he wants his Formula 1 future sorted out by the end of the month.
The German has impressed in recent races and is highly rated amongst the Formula 1 paddock. He was previously linked at drives for Ferrari and McLaren before signing for Sauber in 2013 and after a year at the Swiss team, he could well be on the move once again.
After it was announced that Kimi Raikkonen will depart the Enstone based squad at the end of 2013, Hulkenberg was one of the first names to be linked to replace him. Several teams, including Force India and current team Sauber, are reportedly interested alongside Lotus, but the 26-year-old wants to know where he will be driving next year by the end of October.
Speaking at an open media session with RichlandF1′s Trent Price, Hulkenberg was blunt: ”I want to have some certainty about my future – and not in November. “It needs to be at the end of the month, for sure. There is obviously a certain cut off point.”
When questioned whether he would risk losing a potential plumb seat by not playing the waiting game, Nico was equally candid in his response: “Possibly, yes. Because have experienced falling over the back in 2010, and I am not going to risk doing that again.”
A move to Lotus would mean that he has driven for four teams in five years, but that doesn’t concern him: “It is not a worry,” he said. “It is maybe not ideal but there is a positive side as well because you can take all the good things forward.
“Obviously in terms of consistency and settling in somewhere it is not the best, but movements happen for a reason and it is what it is, so there is no point questioning it for me.”
Hulkenberg joined Formula 1 in 2010, hot off the back of taking the 2009 GP2 title. He raced for Williams before being edged out by the Pastor Maldonado and the Venezuelan investment that came with him. With no race seats available, he joined Force India as their reserve driver before being promoted to a race seat for 2012. After some impressive performances, particularly during the final half of the season, he moved to Sauber where he endured a difficult start to the season. While being overlooked has often become a bugbear in the past for drivers like Nick Heidfeld and Kamui Kobayashi, Hulkenberg has a temperate outlook.
“There’s a lot of drivers on the market with a lot of good experience” Nico added. “Some of those drivers are world champions and there’s not a lot of good seats available. And if they have good, experienced drivers racing for them why would they change? From my perspective I’d like to be in a top, competitive seat, but that’s Fomula One.”
Sauber’s pace has picked up the pace in recent races and Nico heads to the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend looking for his fourth consecutive points finish.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic