Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, Buddh International Circuit, 2013

Hulkenberg wary of going up against Grosjean

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, Buddh International Circuit, 2013In the round-up: Nico Hulkenberg says he was wary of being compared to an on-form Romain Grosjean if he had accepted the chance to substitute for Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus.


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Hulk: Lotus move too risky (Sky)

“Hulkenberg said the pitfall was of ‘stepping into a car you don’t know. If I’d stepped in there, I don’t know – I don’t know whether people would have expected me to beat Romain right away. He seems to be very comfortable in the car now and in the team. He’s delivering very good results now.'”

Maldonado ‘happy’ to leave Williams (BBC)

“Overall, I feel I delivered more to the team than they did for me.”

Magnussen will sink or swim, says Button (Reuters)

“It’s a massive risk to be put in the deep end, if you like, with a team that should be fighting for a title.”

Lewis Hamilton warns F1 rookies of importance of building foundations as Kevin Magnussen joins his old team McLaren (The Mirror)

“Don?t rush. Me and my dad wanted to get there when I was 18 and we were always in a rush but McLaren kept me calm, kept my feet on the ground. Take your time. And I got here I was just about ready.”

Driver market ‘unhealthy’ – Webber (ESPN)

“After Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, a bit McLaren, but then it gets ?? at this level with all of the smoke and mirrors we should have all of the staff members, everyone at the factory, all the drivers, everyone accounted for. The numbers should add up, but it’s got itself into a position that there’s people that are on the squeeze and that’s what the sport needs to address pretty quickly for the sake of everyone.”

Mercedes: Hamilton’s chassis cracked (Autosport)

Ross Brawn: “We knew he had had some excursions over kerbs and things, but when we actually got here and started to strip everything down, the damage was pretty significant. It may even be at a level that was affecting the handling of the car.”

Former-Ecclestone lieutenant offered ??15m by ex-wife, court told (FT, registration required)

“Asked if he felt personally threatened as a result of siding with Mrs Ecclestone in the proceedings, Mr Mullens said: ‘I don?t think Mr Ecclestone was entirely happy.'”

The FOTA Fan Forum live from Austin – US Grand Prix (Pole Position via YouTube)

Jenson Button on lubricants and fuel mileage in F1 (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)

Circuit of the Americas on Google Streetview

Analysis: Why McLaren are right to give Magnussen a race seat (PaddockScout)

“He?s the most ready for F1 that any junior single-seater driver has been for some years, even if others have had more glittering careers-to-date. Credit to McLaren for realising that proven F1 podium finishers are not the answer, and giving a chance to somebody with the potential to do so much more.”

US Grand Prix Betting: Odds rise on rivals to record-smashing Vettel (Unibet)

My United States Grand Prix preview for Unibet.


Comment of the day

Has Esteban Gutierrez done enough to deserve a second season? M Sanchez (@faulty) weighs the pros and cons:

Against Gutierrez:
He had a terrible first quarter, where he was completely overwhelmed by car and competition, but got back from it. It?s true that a more complete and more experienced Hulkenberg got the hang of things quicker, but that was to be expected. He has been beaten in qualifying by his team mate, but, which of the non-champion drivers would stand a chance against 2013 Hulkenberg? How many can you name?

For Gutierrez:
His team has been all praise towards him because he supposedly did a 2012-Massa with car development (he used to be their test driver, remember).
I rank him close behind Alonso and Maldonado as one of the best starters this year.
He did lead the field, it might not mean points but he didn?t leave a stinky trail behind either.
Yes, Hulkenberg destroys him qualifying, but have you checked his race lap times in the second half of the season? right there with the Toro Rossos, on par with his team mate who has often gone backwards from his unrealistic starting positions.
Race craft? He?s exponentially better than what he showed in Australia, and in my opinion, better than Perez at this stage in his career. He can be problematic to get around when fighting for position, but that’s what you’d want from a racing driver. So far the only complaints have come from Hamilton, but he complains about everybody.

I say he is better than Perez.
M Sanchez (@Faulty)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Loki, Tom Watson and Deej92!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The short but successful life of the TAG Porsche ended on this day in 1987. Introduced at the end of 1983 the TAG-funded Porsche-designed 1.5-litre turbo powered McLaren to consecutive constructors’ championships in 1984 and 1985, plus helped Niki Lauda and Alain Prost claim a total of three drivers’ world championships.

They were outclassed by Honda in the final season but Prost nonetheless won three races and finished fourth in the championship.

Image ?? Sauber

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  • 83 comments on “Hulkenberg wary of going up against Grosjean”

    1. That helmet is an atrocity. Not the first helmet atrocity from Hamilton but one of the worst. Rules about helmet design can’t come soon enough.

      1. I agree, that helmet certainly isn’t my taste. MJ looks more like ET.

      2. A brave choice, and his choice, so why not.

        1. Someone in twitter pointed out how Lew has very interesting ideas for helmet, ut they were bad executed. I agree

          1. The sort of doodles that a shallow celebrity obsessed teenager would put on a copybook aren’t interesting to me.

      3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        15th November 2013, 1:14

        @hairs You can’t be liked by everybody. Actually, I like that red that is appearing in some of his helmets recently. Nice helmet IMHO (and if it’s ET, it’s cool too :P)

        1. I liked the helmet. Lewis did something different last time too but ran into controversy (***). Nice way to pay tribute to the King of Pop.
          Give us a thrilling performance Lewis :)

          1. I guess Mercedes needs a lot of noses this weekend…

      4. Worst helmet design ever. What is this kid thinking? There is no way he can possibly compete with Seb! :p

        1. No, that would be Eddie Irvine’s jaguar helmet…

      5. @ hairs Yes this helmet is horrid and I actually follow Lewis, but this is nasty. He’s had some classy and some just overly flashy helmets on level with Vettel. But at least when Vettel does it it isn’t so bad.

        1. cool concept, poorly executed. terrible picture of Michael. conjures up images of him (MJ) w/ his hair on-fire! oh well, at least Hamilton honors people w/ his helmet(s), something Seb has only done very rarely (like w/ the Red Bull Stratos jumper).

          1. @joepa “at least Hamilton honours people”?? This must be a first for him, I don’t remember any other, except the Senna tribute helmet-

            Vettel had the names of all his mechanics in his helmet a while ago…

            1. @fer-no65 – that didn’t come out right…I wanted to say that Hamilton, while he’s done minor variations on his standard “Senna”-inspired helmet (for USGP 2012, Interlagos 2011, and Monaco (various), for example), they’re not fundamental redesigns. They don’t break the design-chain and they’ve obviously been identifiable as his. Vettel redesigns helter-skelter w/ no continuity from race to race or year to year and they’re rarely to honor a person or celebrate a culture…they’re often just flashy blingy glitz (w/ some exceptions, of course). Some are quite cool looking, but I prefer Hamilton’s use of a consistent base theme so that when he really changes it, you take notice (and there’s usually a message or a honoree, and not just a flash design like Seb’s).

              Just look at the continuity in the 2010 helmets he used. Here’s a look at his 2010 Silverstone helmet

              Even his “thanks mclaren” 2012 Brazil helmet wasn’t a radical departure.

              An exception would be his Singapore 2012 helmet – gorgeous (but not yellow!)! Here’s another view. I guess you could also argue his India 2012 helmet broke from his Senna-yellow base design…

              The previous year, in 2011, Lewis modified his helmet for Singapore to honor his friend Christian Bakkerud. Two other bigger redesigns were this Michael Jackson one, obviously, and the one @moneyr references.

              When Lewis changed his helmet for MOnaco 2013, he maintained his usual yellow base colour, inspired by Ayrton Senna like you note, but included a cartoon drawing of himself, girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger and his dog Roscoe driving in front of a Monaco backdrop…thereby paying tribute to an important person and a very important animal (and hey people treat pets like people!). …

              @moneyr – thanks for that link.

            2. @fer-no65 would you call the 2012 Silverstone helmet of LH a redesign, like what Vettel does, or just a race-tribute evolution based on a central design theme? (i just wanted an excuse to show you that pic of those two which I think is a cool shot)

      6. Can’t. It’s got Michael Jackson on it, so that makes it instant awesome.

        1. A self mutilating, delusional, plastic surgery addict who worshipped himself and was very likely a child molester who used his fame and money to evade capture.

          The jimmy savile comment is very pertinent.

          1. This is F1 not a political forum. Please don’t turn it into that.

            1. A) It’s a comments section. And it was pretty on topic.

              B) If you try to separate F1 and politics you’re going to have a really hard time.

      7. @hairs @yoshif8tures I do not concur although the face of MJ could have been better. I also think it would look a lot better, however, without the Monster and Merc logos everywhere…

    2. that helmet is just ghastly !! probably the worst anyone has ever used for a long, long while !

    3. I agree with COTD. Gutierrez needed to get the hang of it, and as the year went on he improved race by race on every level. He’s quick enough in qualifying when his team doesn’t miscount seconds like in Abu Dhabi, his pace on Sundays seems to be getting consistently better and he’s had some nice fights as well like in Korea. For the complaint by Hamilton, I think that was only frustration last race, he only said that in the race, not mentioning anything afterwards. And as mentioned – he’s up against one of the best drivers in the field as a teammate with Hulkenberg, who also has more experience to his name. I hope Sauber will keep Gutierrez, he can be a great (not necessarily an all-time great as we start to speak of Vettel, but in the pack) driver in the coming years.

      1. No, he either two seasons too early in F1 or simply not good enough, same as Chilton.

        If it was karting, it’s all right, but this type of performance in F1 I would be ashamed.

        1. He is leading the rookies, and defend positions even with the top guys while making very few mistakes, improving thru the year where he had to learn everything and acquire the needed mileage. In fact once the car got up to speed he is quite matching Hulk, which in return is not looking that great lately, overlooked at Mclaren so presumably no better than Perez. I hope they gets another yr chance, but so far looks like Slim has an oportunity to pull a Redbull a la Matezichs, no spending limit at Sauber could do it IMHO and actually may be at a disccount !

        2. I would love to see you make the same comment back on 2001 about Alonso. ;)

    4. I love the subtle arrogance in Hulkenberg’s words.

      1. Yeah, it seems the hype has gone to his head already.

        1. He was always like that, at least for me, even i]on his rookie year. Confident guy.

      2. Have you read the Maldonado article? At least Hulk has some consistency. Maldonado is like a man who wins the lottery and then claims to be the worlds greatest business man for being so rich. He won one race and I’d say it was a 50/50 of talent/luck.

        I for one would not miss him one bit. Unfortunately he has a lot of money behind him that teams could use… I just hope Romain can knock him down a peg or two. I’d say a unmotivated Kimi is still better than Maldonado any day, and Kimi has looked rather pedestrian next to Romain the second half of the year.

    5. @Faulty completley agree with the COTD, he started this season completly overwhelmed and I thought he shouldnt be there but he really has kicked it up a gear towards the end. If it wasn’t for penalties or even nearly getting taken out by Massa in Korea then I believe he would have scored another 2 times.

    6. Sorry to hear how serious Dario Fs injuries were, an obvious move for PDR next year I would say.

    7. smart move hulkenberg, joining a team this late in the season is a good way to ruin your f1 reputation

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        15th November 2013, 1:59

        @scuderia29 as Fisichella, who was rocking in Force India (I remember Spa 2009) and then was terrible in the Ferrari.

        1. @omarr-pepper a prime example! no driver can just jump in another teams car and be quick right out of the box, its impossible

        2. @omarr-pepper i don’t argue that Fisichella drove well for Ferrari (when he was obviously not competitive) but I applaud (still) his decision to pursue the drive there. It was an emotive decision, one made by GF so he could realize a dream first and foremost: the dream of driving in F1 for Ferrari.

          I’m glad for him he had the freedom of thought to go for it! Anyone who thinks less of him for it though is small-minded and lacks a contextualized understanding…

      2. I was thinking the same, no one would take that offer. On a side note I have heard JB is confirmed if so I must admit I was wrong, McLaren weren’t about to do the awful thing of piping their trusty wing man just a round away from the end of the season. All things considered JB has always meant good business I feared that it wasn’t good enough to support the team but we are still to hear who will be McLaren’s next title sponsor.

    8. I agree with COTD. But, the best performer from Sauber this year was first year team principal, Monisha Kaltenborn. She had to deal with a bad car at the beginning with an under-performing rookie. To make matters worse, Sauber almost went under due to money problems in the middle of the season. But, she and the team kept the young rookie under control and he has since improved greatly. She also found money to operate the team for the future with the help of some Russians. And even when I thought all hope was lost for this year, Sauber continued to develop the car and nearly had it in them to challenge FI and Mclaren in the CC. Hats off to Monisha and Sauber this year for proving why they’re one of the best in the business.

      1. A year too late, if she and her marketing team got to business last year, instead of complaining about finances whenever she got a chance, their season would have been very different. Luckly she did not drop the ball completely and got down to business. It’s never been easy to run F1 team expecting sponsors lining up. Management skills alone wont bring you budget, making budget efficient with out working on sponsors will only destroy team from with in.

        Hopefully she learned the lessons this year and Sauber will have strong next year.

        1. Definitely not how it was, the deal was in place for a while but money takes a long time to move around over borders when it is a lot, look at Lotus. Also some deals take a lot of organising and due diligence to be done and checks on everything.

          However she did do a good job of steadying everyone so they didn’t have an evacuation of talent.

    9. Yes, Maldonado really has delivered more to the team… More wrecks that is.

      Saying that, his 2012 win was pretty special. And he does liven up races – or destroy them if he happens to knock out your favorite driver.

      1. +1 here’s hoping we see the back of the “bad gift” for good… Oil money might not keep him afloat much longer. A Flash of brilliance marred by huge overtones of ego driven road rage and incompetence. Williams gave him his first (and only) podium – what did he personally ever give except the opportunity to take his government (and therefore the disadvantaged people of Venezuela’s) money?

        1. Based on some of the paddock talk floating around, Williams were of the opinion that Maldonado had plenty of raw speed, but that it took a miracle for him to convert that into results.

          And before you condemn him any further, take a look at some of the machinery had to work with. This is Williams that we’rd talking about – once of the most famous racing teams in the world. And their last three cars have been an absolute embarrassment. Of the four drivers who raced them, Pastor Maldonado is the only one who actually achieved anything with them. So as unpopular as he is, the man has a point.

          1. There last 4 cars? No. Three of their last 4 cars. It wouldn’t surprise me if their 2012 car was comparatively as quick as this years lotus. It had some serious pace. Unfortunately they managed to totally mess that one up with various driver and strategic errors. Something that both the team and the drivers should be seriously embarrassed about!

    10. I can’t agree with the Mirror that Magnussen is leapfrogging GP3 AND GP2. If Lewis actually said that Magnussen needs more time, I can agree somewhat, but winning F3.5 at a canter is a good sign of a potentially great driver. I say ballsy move by McLaren… They may be missing out on selecting an experienced fast guy to take over from Jenson as the team leader, but you never know what this kid will do until he’s done it.

      1. Who would be an “experienced, fast driver” to replace Button? There is no-one on the market, and with Magnussen being a rookie, they need stability in the team. They need someone they know to get a more accurate picture of Magnussen’s ability.

        1. “Experienced, Fast Driver?” That’s Nico Hulkenberg available for 2014.
          “Experienced, Fast, Maniac driver like Perez who can bring a new title sponsor?” Thats Pastor Maldonado for sure

          1. @udm7 – McLaren would never have taken Hulkenberg. Because he jumps from team to team, he’s missing key skills, like the ability to develop the car over the course of seasons. And however fast he might be, the team would have serious questions about his commitment – especially if the 2014 car is disappointing.

            Hulkenberg might be the fan favourite, and while his speed is not in question, there are justifiable doubts about the way he would work within the team. Too many people get too caught up in his raw talent and completely ignore the issues that would deter any team principal from signing him.

            1. @prisoner-monkeys
              Sorry for replying so late, i didn’t get the notification.
              Hulk doesn’t jump from team to team.
              2010- kicked out of Williams after grabbing pole at brazil.
              2012-Left SFI due to non payment, a chance of Ferrari seat in the future (Sauber-Ferrari connection)
              2013-Will leave sauber again probably due to non payment.

              I agree with you over his development skills, but shouldn’t he be much better than Magnussen considering the changes in 2014?

            2. @udm7 – Whatever the reasons for the changes, Hulkenberg is still jumping from team to team.

            3. @prisoner-monkeys
              Yes, But its more due to having no choice.
              Apparently its a multi year deal with SFI. Lets see what happens

          2. Button is a proven WDC, and has been with McLaren for four years. The Hulk may prove to be faster, but you can’t dismiss the importance of having someone who’s already fully integrated into the team.

      2. Ferrari & Mercedes, think need good development drivers with experience, Vettel did not jump into redbull first yr. I think Mclaren is at Williams level one ok experienced and one rookie, but Massa is quicker and more experience than button and Bottas also than magnussen, Force India and lotus will get no rookies so really can’t see anything to loose at Mclaren other than midfield tango, but I doubt it will deliver champioship winning team next yr. Yesterday Sam Michael was on the back of conference paddock and Paddy on front, one answering how is planning not to loose its job the other about to be promote to Team principal at Mercedes, it was great timing to jump ship.

    11. When it comes to God awful helmets, Seb has this category nailed down solid. There was even one Seb had with flashing lights, maybe innovative, but just as hideous as so many of his horrid helmet designs. A lot of drivers pay tribute to others with their helmet designs, and this is clearly what Hamilton is doing.

    12. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      15th November 2013, 1:57

      Just curiosity. We’ve seen when driver got the seat fit, but how is the case when there’s a reserve driver (or Heikki who isn’t even in the team?) Can they adapt the shape of the internal part of the car in one day, or they just run a “standard” seat instead?

      1. They just sit them in a ‘bath’ of hot memory foam (or something similar) and when it cools off and hardens, voila! A seat. An F1 ‘seat’ is just a personally moulded insert.

      2. The ‘internal part of the car’ is just a flat bit with some bolts. Every driver has a personal seat moulding that they place into the tub.

    13. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      15th November 2013, 3:01

      Am I the only one that likes Hamilton’s helmet? Haha
      The candy red looks really cool.

      1. @topphercheese21 I Love it

      2. I quite like it too. The MJ bit is sightly odd but whatever – the colours are nice.

        To be honest, I’m mainly looking forward to a race where both Mercedes drivers have different coloured helmets!

    14. Just been told by someone at Force India that Sutil’s signed a 1 year extension to stay there for 2014.

      With regards to Paul Di Resta, His seat is totally dependent on where Hulkenberg & Maldonado end up.
      The team would like Hulkenberg & if he goes to Lotus they would like to retain Paul but Maldonado still has a lot of funding to take with him to another team & Force India may end up going with that cash.

      At the back Marussia are likely to end up sticking with Bianchi & Chilton especially given how Chilton’s family seem to have quietly invested in the team.

      Catreham are in a bind as Giedo Van Der Garde has really upped his game & while not long ago he was definitely gone for 2104 (With Heikki coming back) they now want to keep him.
      They also want to retain Pic who they feel has done a decent job & is actually pretty highly rated & not just by Caterham (Marussia wanted to keep him don’t forgot).
      It seems they brought Heikki back for FP1 running to check out Pic/VDG’s feedback & ended up finding that Heikki wasn’t actually any better in that area & was giving the same feedback as Pic/VDG was hence why they haven’t run Heikki as much as originally planned when they signed him.

      1. PDR to replace his cousin in indycar? The money may not be as big as F1 but at least they pay their drivers, not the other way round.

        1. hehe

          (well done, Sir)

      2. Interesting!

      3. How do you know all this, especially about Caterham? Not by talking to Force India I suppose…

    15. I liked today’s round up very much . A lot of funny tweets especially ‘the good girl’ one . I half expected the google COTA to allow me to race forward in f1 2013 mode :D .

    16. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      15th November 2013, 3:58

      Uurgh, who’s Lewis’ next helmet going to be dedicated to, Jimmy Saville?

      1. I heard next Seb’s helmet will feature Adolf Hitler. After all Hitler was great politician, speaker and leader, as great Micheal Jackson was as an artist.

      2. At least it has the word ‘Monster’ below the MJ picture a couple of times.

        1. Hahaha, genius.

    17. Anyone knows on which channel Indycar and Nascar is telecast in India??

      1. U can watch Nascar on Neo Prime but for Indycar, you have to watch it online.

        1. Which website? I’m starting to lose interest in F1 slightly. I hear JPM is heading back to Indycar

          1. Indy needs to get off the road courses.. They have become crash fests with multiple full course cautions which cause constant restarts that bunch the field up and lead to more crashes.

            Also Dario incident would not have happened on a proper race track.

            1. Off the street tracks rather

      2. I usually stream indycar online

    18. I’m a little amazed at Pastor’s comments. He may have given one win (yes his performance was very impressive, although so too was the car & team that weekend…) and a healthy dose of cash but besides that he’s picked up massive fines, caused a lot of expensive damage and, in 2012 especially, binned a significant number of points that could have (indeed, should have) bumped Williams up a few places in the constructor’s championship.

      I am sure the team are a little relieved that he has gone.

    19. Fikri Harish (@)
      15th November 2013, 9:43

      Webber’s got a point there. The teams should have the decency not to cut someone loose this close to the end of the year. Perez is quite lucky in that a lot of the available seats are still unaccounted for so he may still be on the grid next year but I’d hate to see something like this happening in other circumstances.

      And no Tom, you’re kidding yourself by thinking that Leimer is as deserving of an F1 seat as Magnussen is. This applies to Luiz Razia as well. The main reason you finished as a runner-up last year was because of experience. Try not to overrate yourself.

    20. From the fan forum video, at 40:25.

      Question: “To the William’s driver [Maldonado]. Do you have a plan or a strategy to do something about Red Bull. We’re [the fans] getting tired of them.”

      [Crowd laughs and proceed to give applause to the question]

      Perhaps this is the most simple and honest indication of the general feeling towards Red Bull by fans.

      1. @nick-uk – I’m a fan of Webber and like his Aussie grit and would support him regardless of team or series. But I’m not a Red Bull Racing F1 team fan, although I appreciate the level of mastery they’ve achieved (even if it includes doing things like subverting RRA and buying 2010 WCC, basically). And their dominance of F1 for four years is ruining the spectacle for me. They’re suffocating the competition and it’s simply not as entertaining as when there’s a reasonable chance that someone other than Vettel will win.

        For those who aren’t Vettel fan-boys to be reduced to hoping for him to suffer a mechanical, a puncture, or mishap so that someone else can win is a measure of just what a stranglehold SV has on the sport. He’s the Armstrong of F1 and RBR is the USPS of the series and it wouldn’t actually surprise me if they were cheating…but who even wants to think or feel that?! Jesus Christ this sport has become the Seb Vettel/RedBull show and it’s laaaaame! The only redeeming aspect is the fight for the minor podium places and that’s 100x more interesting and engaging than watching Vettel parade around.

    21. I’m gut at Valsecchi, he did won GP2 last yr and he would off drive his heart out hope heikki brings points, lots of points !

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