Increasingly Hulkenberg’s only option for 2014 is to remain with Sauber 1 November, 2013 Nico Hulkenberg Highly rated Nico Hulkenberg’s best hope of simply staying in Formula 1 is to agree to a new deal with Sauber, according to latest reports. Pastor Maldonado’s PDVSA millions, and Max Chilton’s lucrative Aon backing, appear to have locked the doors to Lotus and even Force India for the highly rated German. “We are up against 150 million [euros],” Hulkenberg’s manager Werner Heinz told Bild newspaper. Hulkenberg told Sport Bild: “I have never ruled out staying at Sauber.” Mercedes‘ Niki Lauda told Bild: “It is ridiculous that someone like Hulkenberg has to fight for a cockpit.” World champion Sebastian Vettel agreed: “Nico has absolutely earned his place in Formula 1.” It is believed that Sauber will retain the ever improving rookie Esteban Gutierrez, who has links to important Mexican backers. “I feel very confident that I will stay in Formula 1 next year,” he is quoted by Brazil’s Totalrace in Abu Dhabi. The other seat, however, was reserved for the teen Sergey Sirotkin, who is a part of Sauber’s crucial Russian rescue deal. Team boss Monisha Kaltenborn, however, said on Thursday that the deal could include some flexibility when it comes to Sirotkin’s driving role. “I think we will find out fairly soon whether he is ready for Formula 1,” she is quoted by Formula 1news.ru. “It is an important step and it should not be underestimated.” (GMM) Subbed by AJN. Related NewsGutierrez and Sainz feature in silly season latestSutil confirmed by Sauber as one of their drivers for 2014 seasonGutierrez says his priority is to stay with Sauber in 2014Silly Season Latest: Hulkenberg and Perez to Force India and Sutil to SauberHulkenberg in frame for 2014 race seat at Lotus, Force India or SauberSauber return in 2014 not guaranteed for PerezMaldonado visits Sauber for talks regarding 2014Raikkonen to Sauber and Hulkenberg to Lotus for Austin?Hulkenberg not paid at all this year by Sauber but may stay with them for 2014Kaltenborn confirms talks with Petrov regarding 2014 seat Mopar212222 C’mon Williams, eat some crow and bring back the Hulk. Williams could be really good next year with the Mercedes. Boycottthebull I so hope Lotus is not that stupid to pass up Hulkenberg. ZombieJebus Sauber is still a waaaaaaaaaay better option than “Lotus”.