Boullier: Hulkenberg is our choice, we would love to sign him

Nico Hulkenberg could be a Lotus driver in 2014

Nico Hulkenberg could be a Lotus driver in 2014

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has admitted that Nico Hulkenberg is Lotus’ first choice as successor to Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen.

Raikkonen recently said that he decided to leave the Enstone based team only for financial reasons.

Lotus has been sweating on a deal with a group of private investors originally called ‘Infinity Racing’, who in June committed to buying 35 per cent of the team.

But team boss Boullier admitted as recently as at the weekend in Japan that the deal is still not sealed.

In the meantime, Infinity has changed its name to Quantum, to avoid confusion with Infiniti, the luxury Nissan brand that is Red Bull’s title sponsor.

“We want to now close this Infinity partner story because this should give us the ability to at least be secure and move us on to the next step,” said Boullier.

Eric Boullier keen to have Nico Hulkenberg in black and gold colours next year

Eric Boullier keen to have Nico Hulkenberg in a black and gold race suit next year

An obvious ‘next step’ is the identity of Raikkonen’s successor.

The clear frontrunner is German Hulkenberg, who was also considered by Ferrari and McLaren for 2014, and remains in the running either to return to Force India or stay at Sauber.

But if the ‘Quantum’ deal falls over, Boullier may have to go down the path of a pay-driver, even if the Frenchman admits “This is not the way to go”.

Boullier hinted at Suzuka that he is also in talks with a sponsor, as well as engine supplier Renault, who could deepen their relationship with Lotus in 2014 and beyond.

If all the pieces fit together, Hulkenberg will surely be signed.

“Since he has been talking to us he has been doing a good job,” said Boullier. “I would love to [sign him],” he is quoted by Sporting Life. “[Hulkenberg] is our choice.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • sebolonso

    Kimi had a lot of overdue unpaid salaries, but that was not the only reason for him to leave Lotus team. As Boullier states, he is in talks with sponsors and Renault. That has been the case for a long time now. Lotus future is uncertain and THAT is the main reason for present situation in the team.

    Hopefully Hulkenberg gets the ride based on the skills he has…and if that happens…let´s hope he gets his salary:).

  • Kimi4WDC

    For some reason I think Nico already signed with McLaren. This will open door for Perez and his money at Lotus.

  • AlsoRan

    Christ,
    If Lotus can’t afford Huck, who can they afford?
    A pay driver perhaps.

  • muddles thailand

    Lets hope they get their financial woes sorted. Renault have been the team to watch this year, they have maintained their performance and certainly need to be there in 2014 and beyond.
    The Hulk would be a great addition to the team.

  • muddles thailand

    Sorry, Lotus.

  • Spanky

    No no no, please no!!!

  • Garth

    Lotus
    listen carefully, if you sign that one hit wonder Plastor Malfuntion your stance in the paddock and the world of motorsport will drop dramatically, can you honestly imagine the team working with a guy that they don’t really like and only do so because of his sponsorship money. Harmony in a team gets things done properly and they will all be slipping about on the brown stuff he gives them as feedback. But if you sign him partner him with Chilton as he scored 1 point less {chuckle} also brings money, finishes the course 2-3 laps down and a set of tyres last’s him all season, they are the drivers you get without paying, your choice Lotus.