Nico Hulkenberg’s hope of moving to a front running team in 2014 received a boost, as he apparently has moved into top spot to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus despite reports that the new weight restrictions for 2014 will hamper the driver – popularly known as ‘The Hulk’.
Red Bull’s Christian Horner said recently that the German’s height would have been an issue had he been in contention for a race seat next year.
That’s because the new turbo engines are much heavier, which is marginalising drivers like Hulkenberg, who is about 10 kilograms above the ideal weight of a Formula 1 driver.
It is believed that Hulkenberg’s weight has put him on the back burner at McLaren, where Sergio Perez has not been a star performer in 2013, but he is ten kilos lighter.
Lotus boss Eric Boullier, however – who has already named Hulkenberg as well as the diminutive Felipe Massa as leading candidates for the 2014 seat – insisted that weight will not the tip the scales of the decision.
“We’re more interested in the talent and potential of a driver rather than the difference of a few kilos,” he told Formula 1’s official website.
“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,” added Boullier.
In a BBC report, however, the Frenchman admitted that issues of driver weight are “of course” taken into consideration.
But “for me [Hulkenberg] is not overweight. He is at the limit, but not overweight,” said Boullier. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.