Hulkenberg tempted but turned down Lotus drive due to risk factor

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg

Speaking to media in Austin, Nico Hulkenberg revealed just how close he came to becoming a Lotus driver for the final two races of the 2013 season. He has opted not to take the risk of filling Kimi Raikkonen’s cockpit and stick with Sauber instead.

Hulkenberg explained, “Of course it was attractive and sounds attractive from the outside, but on the other hand it was only for the last two races which brings some risk with it. I think you have to see the bigger picture beyond after two races what can happen there and that is why we came up with this decision.”

“If I had stepped in there I don’t think people would have expected me to beat Romain right away. He seems to be fairly comfortable in the car and in the team now. He is also delivering very good results now, from that point of view,” he added.

Lotus is keen to sign Hulkenberg to replace Ferrari-bound Raikkonen but funding is scarce, and prospective investors Quantum Motorsport are an unknown quantity.

Hulkenberg admitted that had he been assured a drive by Lotus in 2014 he would have taken the opportunity offered to him this late in the season.

“I think had that been the case that would have been a big change in the whole plan, for sure,” admitted the highly rated German.

“I went [to Enstone] to see Eric [Boullier], speak face to face about these two races and beyond that as well because next year is important as well. So that is why I went there,” said Hulkenberg.

Lotus has confirmed that Heikki Kovalainen will be on duty for the team in Austin and Sao Paulo, opting for experience in an effort to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari, for second place in the Constructors’ Championship,  in the final rounds. (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Eevel_Empire

    Smart decision.

  • McLarenfan

    Agreed he used his brain as this investment is still at a zero from all reports and jumping car to car is bad publicity more so with with no guarantees for next year.

  • Boycottthebull

    I agree it was the right decision to show team loyalty till the end of the season regardless of any pay concerns which shouldnt be aired in public. Thats how a good sportsman conducts himself. I dont get the worry about being beaten by Grosjean though. When there were teammates in a lower formula Grosjean was team leader and he also beat Hulkenberg winning that championship. I think he will do well at Lotus but I dont expect him to be beating Grosjean all the time. After all Kimi didnt beat him all the time either.

  • McLarenfan

    @Boycottthebull;
    I think what he was saying is that he has had no real input or had the car set to him like Romain & Kimi have had over this season and some from last, take the steering issues Kimi had Lewis with the brakes at Merc yet they are expecting him or anyone else to get 100% out of the car and earn them Millions but the flip is the same as they gave quick Nick there is the door don’t let it hit you in the back.
    P.S welcome Pastor $$$$$$$$$$$$

  • ZombieJebus

    Smart move from Hulk, imo. Besides, even if spends another year at Sauber or Force India he has a real chance to get a top ride for 2015.

    Personally I think the big 3 teams are making a huge mistake not signing him. His height and weight included in my statement.

  • Kimi4WDC

    Good stuff Hulk, now one knows if Lotus will even line up for the Australian GP next year, with all their issues.