Hulkenberg Waiting For Opportunity

Nico Hulkenberg has been a driver under the spotlight this season following his departure from an in-form Force India team at the end 2012, to join close rivals Sauber. After a turbulent start to the season at his new team, critics have been out in force, questioning the German’s seemingly ill-fated decision. These views have been amplified by Force India’s explosive start to 2013. However, Nico predicts a bright future ahead, if he can earn a seat at a top team.
Sauber were unable to consolidate their impressive form in 2012 so far this season, after the team decided to be radical in terms of aerodynamic performance on the C32. Decreased profile on the sidepods seems to be restricting downforce and the team have struggled to come to terms with the apparent issues regarding this major flaw.
Moreover, Nico Hulkenberg has been made to watch the rise of his former team Force India, as the squad have challenged the front runners consistently this season with several stunning performances, such as Paul Di Resta’s admirable drive to P4 in Bahrain – The Brit was just seconds away from his first career podium. Meanwhile, Hulkenberg has languished within the midfield in obscurity, while his inexperienced teammate Esteban Gutierrez has suffered an even worse fate having not yet notched up a single point. Clearly, Sauber have work to do, yet Hulkenberg maintains that his move will not effect his chances of success later in his career. The ineffectual C32 may not be capable of race wins, yet Nico believes that one day, he will be at a team which can deliver.
“If you see other people it’s very few guys who come in and right away are in a winning car,” he told Autosport. “I know Jenson Button was in Honda for many years, and also not being able to show his ability because the car wasn’t good enough for him. Sometimes that is what happens but of course as a driver you always wish and love to have a car which allows you to show what you can do and perform really well but you have to be patient.”
The frustration is evident in every interview Hulkenberg gives. The move to Sauber, we assume, was primarily to give him an easier passage to Ferrari, and while that may be where Nico’s future lies, the competition he could face for the second seat alongside Fernando Alonso may be even greater following an underwhelming season. His obscurity at Sauber may eventually prove costly. However, Nico is not allowing any insecurities to be observed by the media, despite his woeful start to 2013 yielding just 5 points.
“It is tough,” he added. “It didn’t work as expected but, that’s life. We just have to keep our heads down and focus on the current situation trying to improve the car, make it faster. There’s still the second half of the season then we have to get more points here and there. We still have to prove that we can improve the car and make the step, I’m pretty confident, but how much of a step and how much we can transform this season its still to be seen.”

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