Nico Hulkenberg’s weight could hamper his chances of securing a McLaren race seat in 2014.
Earlier this year, it emerged that the tall German’s feet were a squeeze in the footwell of the Sauber.
Now, with Sergio Perez’s place in doubt, Hulkenberg’s candidature could end simply because he weighs in at 74 kg.
Amid rumours that Perez’s Mexican sponsors are behind in their payments to McLaren, Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports that yet another problem for Perez is the possible identity of the Woking based team’s next title sponsor.
It had been expected the departing Vodafone’s successor would be a Mexican company, but the latest news is that the razor company Gillette is in fact in a good position to take over.
However, Germany’s Sport Bild reports that McLaren is concerned that Hulkenberg – a logical candidate to replace Perez – weighs too much for its 2014 car, which due to the radical new powertrain regulations will weigh almost 50 kilograms more than this year’s single seaters.
The mandatory minimum weight of the cars is being increased, but not by as much as the expected weight increases of the new technology.
Even last year, the tall Mark Webber had complained: “[I] haven’t eaten for the last 5 years! Minimum weight has been too low for ages.
“Perfect driver weight [is] now 60-65 kg.”
Hulkenberg is also in contention for the Lotus seat being vacated by Kimi Raikkonen, but another contender is the newly sponsor-backed Brazilian, Felipe Massa.
It is believed Hulkenberg sees Force India – his 2012 employer – as a fallback option, and that the Silverstone based team is prepared to replace the underperforming Paul di Resta.
Another candidate for a Force India seat next year is the McLaren-backed rookie Kevin Magnussen, according to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
Respected correspondent Michael Schmidt said that the young Dane could even be the frontrunner, because Force India apparently owes McLaren money for past supplies of transmissions and hydraulics. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.