Hulkenberg tipped for Mercedes test role

F1 Fanatic round-up

Posted on

| Written by

Rumours suggest a reserve driver role at Mercedes for Nico Hulkenberg in 2011.


Jonathan Legard on Twitter

“Hearing that Hulkenberg is likely Mercedes reserve driver in 2011. Same manager as Schumacher.”

BMW not tempted by new F1 rules (Autosport)

After what’s just happened to them in the World Touring Car Championship I can’t imagine they’re very impressed with FIA-run series at all at the moment.

In Abu Dhabi’s ‘Formula,’ a fast force for change (Foreign Policy)

“The only other Formula 1 [race] in the Arab world, in Bahrain, is eclipsed by the size and scope of Abu Dhabi’s – a reflection of the Gulf pecking order.”

Auto GP joins WTCC as partner series (WTCC)

The series using ex-A1 Grand Prix chassis which Romain Grosjean raced in this year will take the place of Formula Two on the WTCC’s support bill – a significant boost for its standing as a feeder series to Formula 1.

Robert Blaschke’s paper constructions

A collection of terrific model F1 cars made using paper.

F1 2010 meets OutRun: Video mashup (Gamesradar)

Cracking video.

Comment of the day

As I write this, only 56 of more than 2,000 votes cast in the “who deserves a driver in 2011” poll have been cast for Sakon Yamamoto. The only driver with fewer is Fairuz Fauzy.

Girts voted for Yamamoto and explained why:

He is not as bad as often perceived. In qualifying, he trails his team mate by a smaller average margin than many other drivers, for instance, Schumacher, Petrov or Heidfeld. And Senna outperformed Klien in one of three races and often had the edge over Chandhok.

When Yamamoto was driving for Spyker in 2007, the situation was the same. He trailed Sutil but they were not worlds apart. In some races, they were pretty close. And Yamamoto makes less serious mistakes than, for instance, Petrov, Buemi or Kobayashi. He never retired because of an accident in 2010.

Yamamoto has always had the worst card on the grid. He has never been able to do a normal season. Give him a half-decent car, a full season (including pre-season tests) and I am sure that he will not perform worse than Petrov.

From the forum

Have you explained your avatar yet?

What’s that, you’ve not got one yet? This article will explain how to get a picture next to your name.

Site updates

Did I mention there are new F1 Fanatic T-shirts and mugs available?

Happy birthday!

A big happy birthday to Damonsmedley!

On this day in F1

Happy birthday also to Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn who is 56 today.

Image © Williams/LAT

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

57 comments on “Hulkenberg tipped for Mercedes test role”

  1. Could be a good move for Hulkenberg if Schumacher’s second season is as bad as his first

    1. The problem i can see is if Merc wants vettel in 2012 or may be Sutil or Di Resta then Hulk would do what?

      Rather than test role I would like to see him drive Renault, FI or Lotus but no test role please.

    2. 1) This is from Legard.
      2) He also thinks Sutil is moving to Ferrari.

      1. 1) Good point.
        2) *Facepalm*

      2. Also Willi Weber is Hülkenbergs manager, Schumacher split from Weber (for very good reasons) quite some time ago. So not the same manager.

        1. Shame he didn’t get offered a race seat. Schumi has had a rough season but Hulk has had a solid season for Williams, outqualifying Barichello on a number of occaisions including that superb pole in Brazil. He really deserved a race seat

  2. That’s probably a good option for Hulkenberg. He’ll just be limited to simulator driving during the season, but I think Schumacher will retire again after 2011, so he’ll just fill Schuey’s seat and he’ll have himself a good car. I always hear about Mercedes wanting Vettel, but he’ll be at Red Bull for a while, so the Hulk is a very good alternative IMO.

  3. Those paper constructions are amazing!

    1. Agreed, they are great, was just about to post that.

      I love seeing people able to do things like that. The “white” versions are very interesting to me because you can see the shapes so well, although the colored versions are looking amazingly accurate!

  4. Happy Birthday Damonsmedley!

  5. Thank you! :) (Comment too short)

    1. Happy Birthday :)

    2. Happy B-day! Hope you have a great one.

    3. The same from me Damom, enjoy it.

      1. Happy birthday damonsmedley! Have a good day!

    4. Enjoy the day damon!

    5. Happy Birthday!

      1. I feel honoured to have been brought into the world on the same day as Ross Brawn. Here is a tribute to the great man: :P

    6. Happy Birthday!

  6. Not Legard!!! Why is he still tweeting. Get out of F1 you crook!!!

    And happy Birthday Damon, have a good ‘un.

    1. he thinks he can get popular by tweeting!! haha

  7. The only problem with Legard’s Tweet is that Willi Weber isn’t Schumacher’s manager anymore.

    1. Which just perfectly illustrates the point.

      1. In Legard’s defence, Michael Schumacher was managed by Willi Weber until recently. So he’s technically right when he says both Schumacher and Hulkenberg are managed by Weber – after all, Weber was a major part in the early development of Schumacher’s career. I believe he was particularly instrumental in the move to Ferrari.

    2. I assumed he meant former manager, this is from a Tweet after all.

  8. This is the same Legard that also said Sutil could replace Massa at Ferrari…

    1. And that Maldanado was going to Toro Rosso.

      1. Make a list and see how many he gets correct.

  9. Yamamoto, despite my mocking of him on Twitter, actually impressed me.

    He never seemed to make errors, we never saw him in the wall, and he finished Spa in changeable conditions with no issues, something which Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel couldn’t do.

    Heck he even matched the pace of Di Grassi at Monza in a car with a Bahrain-spec aero package.

    Might seem odd saying this but I think he did a better job than Bruno.

    1. Didn’t he try to change the brake-bias and ended up setting off the fire extinguisher or something? haha

      1. or had the pit lane limiter turned on on the starting grid..please, Yamamoto is a joke

    2. Yamamoto is only trailing the worst drivers on the grid by small margins everywhere.. think about it… its pretty bad.

    3. I agree with Michael, he gets very bad press but apart from being a bit of a mobile chicane for the leaders he’s done a decent job this year.

  10. What a waste of a year it would be for Hulk. He us young and won’t learn from watching. We all know testing rules are limited to the point where he won’t get seat time where he can turn left or right.

    Come to Indycar Nico. Race a full schedule or just the twisties if he is afraid of the ovals and then go to F1 for 2012. Indy rides would be on the cheap side as it’s the last year with the old equipment. You are too young to sit and wait.

  11. Happy Birthday to Damonsmedley & to Ross Brawn.

    Not a bad idea for Nico Hülkenberg to move to Mercedes as there are no seats available in any of the big teams,sitting beside Schumacher he will learn something & he won’t be a bad replacement for Schumi once he leaves the team.Equally I will be sad if he don’t get a drive, like Heidfeld this season he don’t deserve to be sitting on the pit garage & watch the race from there.

    1. I think he’s actually more deserving of a drive than Heidfeld was last year. Hülkenberg’s young with huge potential. Heidfeld’s had years to prove himself. If I were a team picking between either of those drivers I know which one I’d pick.

      1. Heidfeld has proved himself..repeatedly..and that’s harder to do in mid-field teams for a relatively high number of seasons than proving oneself in varying tiers of the championship..circumstances bogged him down to the same intermediary step, simply because he doesn’t attract neither team managers’ attention or FOM video cameras with his discreet yet effective driving..sometimes I think he doesn’t fit the mould of the modern driver (not referring to his driving ablities), but on the other hand I can’t really place him in any other era, he’s too atypical.

  12. That Abu Dhabi article claims that Yas they had ‘the distinction of hosting the last Formula 1 event of the season for the second year in a row (when) the position is meant to rotate among host cities’.

    Now unless the FIA have introduced some new rule that none of us are aware of, that simply ain’t true. Shoddy journalism

  13. I don’t think Bahrain would be upstaged by Abu Dhabi if they ran the outer circuit, thereby providing better racing. Testing is going to be a problem starting next year as well. If they ran the standard grand prix circuit for testing they’d get a nice mix of corners for data gathering, then they could switch to the outer circuit for the race, making a better track for overtaking and making their testing data less relevant to the race, which would reduce the risk of another Borecelona. Todt seems to be intent on better overtaking circuits, maybe he should have a chat with Bahrain about running the outer circuit.

    1. That would be great. A shame it is probably not going to happen.

  14. Happy Birthday DamonSmedley :) Enjoy your day!

    That Abu Dhabi article was clearly written to emphasize the glamour and pizzaz that surrounds the Abu Dhabi GP, most of it unfortunately is all show, and very little to do with the actual racing..
    Being from Bahrain, yes I do wish we have a Marina in the middle of the desert, a hotel overlooking the track, the super yachts, Ferrari land, the famous celebs, artists, and politicians, etc… (Many do attend the Bahrain GP too lol) However, I’d more importantly like see my home GP provide proper racing!

    I know I know this year’s Bahrain GP was disappointing blah blah.. but I do know that the Bahrain GP will be back next year and hopefully it won’t disappoint! We tried too hard this year by changing the track at an unfortunate time where the rules changed as well = bad combination! So hopefully the old track will provide some decent racing, and who knows we might switch to the outer track some day?

    1. Well said, and although it is unlikely the outer track will ever be used for F1, I agree that it would be great. The post above by US_Peter adds a nice scheme for how it would work I think, even if it remains unlikely.

  15. This year has shown he needs more time in a F1 car. A test role is bad for him IMO.

  16. Many thanks for the COTD award, Keith. This was probably only my 20th comment on your website, including my posts in the forum. I think I will have to take part in the discussions here more often! :)

    I also have to say that I used the wonderful F1 Statistics section on F1 Fanatic to make the factual part of the comment.

    1. That’s what it’s there for, glad you found it useful, thanks Girts!

  17. I’m not driven to use the word awesome very often, but those paper models are ****in’ awesome.

    1. Astonishing! Sublime! Perfect!

  18. Well he done good this year always above barachello …….. barechello should retire and let the young boys take there places …….the younger they are the more better is the competition ……. not that i have any thing against the Barechello or shumi its just that we dont find that spark that is needed in F1 any more ……

    1. Yes, “always above barachello (sic)” – that’s why he got outqualified by Rubens over the whole season and had merely half the points Rubens did. Face it, Hülkenberg was, aside from two laps in rainy Interlagos, pretty weak the whole season and I highly doubt his replacement will fare much worse.

  19. You can download the plan for the Williams for free here, even if you are not going to build it just have a look at the complexity of the thing… Amazing ! Unfortunately its not in English :(

  20. Couldn’t agree more with the comment of the day.

  21. Happy birthday Damon! Onen of the nicest fanatics on here :)

    Testing just doesn’t give the same benefits it used to. Massa and Alonso were really helped out by Hulk will just be sitting around doing crosswords thanks to the ban. This is just the same as Heidfeld’s plan of wait for Schumi to retire or a better seat to become available which is a really sad situation given the Hulk’s clear talent.

  22. The problem with Yamamoto is that he is trailing Senna by a few tenths, whereas drivers like Petrov are trailing Kubica by a few tenths. If you put Yamamoto in the Renault he would probably trail Kubica by a second or more. He may not crash, but he is just too slow to be in F1. Seriously, when drivers like Heidfeld and Hulkenberg are struggling to find a race seat, how can you make a case for Yamamoto?

  23. Those paper cars are stunning! I’d love to see the McLaren MP4/4 in paper.

  24. I was thinking a test role with Mercedes was the most likely option for Hulkenberg.

    Unless there are some big shocks in the driver market the top teams have already signed their race drivers for 2011.

    Renault will probably resign Petrov for their second seat as I think his performances this year were probably good enough and he brings sponsorship to the team.

    I don’t think Force India will change both drivers, just probably drop Luizzi and bring in di Resta.

    That really only leaves the new teams, and I think any driver changes there will be influenced by any finance the driver can bring.

    That really only leaves a testing role and Mercedes which I would have thought was the most obvious choice for Hulkenberg.

  25. Initially I thought this wouldn’t be a great move. BUt a test driver with Mercedes sounds very attractive on reflection. It has strong potential to put him in Schumachers seat in a couple of years. Stick him in one of the FP sessions on a regular basis to keep his skills sharpened and I think they could be on to a winner.

Comments are closed.