Hulkenberg: New drivers “no deficit” for Sauber

F1 Fanatic round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Nico Hulkenberg (pictured during his seat fitting with his new team last month) doesn’t think Sauber will suffer from having a complete change of driver line-up this year.

2012 F1 DVD competition

There’s still time to win one of ten copies of the 2012 F1 season review DVD. See below to enter (UK only):


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Q&A with Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg (F1)

“I don’t see any deficit to be honest. Indeed I am new in the team, but not new in F1, and Esteban (Gutierrez) has gained experience as a test driver with Sauber so he is not new to them. I would say there is no deficit, but rather the chance to make good acquaintances.”

Perez hails Whitmarsh (Sporting Life)

“Asked whether he viewed Whitmarsh as a father figure, Perez replied: ‘Yeah, maybe. He is old enough to be!'”

Williams Wins Business of the Year at the MIA Business Excellence Awards (Williams)

“Williams has won the prestigious Business of the Year Award at the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) Business Excellence Awards.”

The people one meets… (Joe Saward)

“We didn’t always agree on things and had a few interesting times during the 2007 fight between McLaren and Ferrari, when [Luca Colajanni] took to referring to DT and I as ‘the second McLaren press office’ because we dared to believe the McLaren story rather than the Ferrari version of the same events, but we got over that…”

Alonso and Massa skiing at Wrooom 2013 (F1 Fanatic via YouTube)


The first part reads: “The money you can buy a seat but never the results! I say to those who still doubt!”

Comment of the day

@Bobby-Balboa is waiting for Bernie Ecclestone to stop dithering:

This is crazy. I’m planning on going to the German Grand Prix this year but there is no way I can book flights until the venue is confirmed and if they leave it that late then the price of the flights will be a lot higher!

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dave!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The Red Bull RB4 was launched on this day five years ago. It is the last Red Bull which did not win a Grand Prix.

Image © Sauber

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.

41 comments on “Hulkenberg: New drivers “no deficit” for Sauber”

  1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    16th January 2013, 0:05

    It’s not: “The money CAN BUY YOU a seat? At least that means in Spanish

  2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    16th January 2013, 0:10

    Perez must shine this year in order to silence the ones “who still doubt”. It may sound easy to do it in a McLaren, but Kovalainen had a great weapon on his hands in 2008 and could do nothing more than a win. I know his teammate was the best Hamilton we have seen so far, but anyway Perez should be far more aggressive (and not in a Maldonado way) to grab strong results this year. I’m expecting a win or two coming from him, and several podiums. It’s the least he should be able to do in a McLaren which finished last year much better than the Red Bulls

    1. But it’s not the McLaren that achieved those results it’s a new car and from time to time even the best teams turn out a bit of a dog. However saying that reminds me that Red Bull are kind of overdue a “bad car year”.

  3. If Bobby hasn’t realised by now, f1 doesn’t give a stuff about the fans in the cheap seats. The paddock club crowd are the only ones Bernie meets, and they’re not flying ryanair or staying in tents. Price and time off from work are not considerations which need to be factored in.

    1. I think you’ll find that Bernie is faced with the same dilemma as Bobby: if he doesn’t sort out the German Grand Prix soon, he won’t have anywhere to entertain those corporate guests. And if he leaves the decision too late, the attendance at the Paddock Club will be lower because less corporate sponsors will be able to make the trip.

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        16th January 2013, 0:22

        You’re right, but the only clear difference is that if CEOs and big stars can attend to Germany is not for money, just for a packed agenda. If they are free, they can spend (waste) big sums of money to be right on time and appear on TV greeting Bernie

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          16th January 2013, 0:23

          nd big stars can attend

          can’t, not can

        2. Those “big stars” are often invited by the teams. Hugh Grant was at last year’s British Grand Prix as a guest of Lotus, as was Matt LeBlanc at the United States Grand Prix.

          The Paddock Club is for corporate sponsors, and they very rarely appear on camera. They might get a little bit of coverage as the grid is being set up, but I’ve never seen them identified by name.

          1. This much is true. When I was at Silverstone this year (guest of Total) the Lotus lounge had tables for Total, Renault, Unilever (Clear) etc. I think about 50-60 guests per day in total.

            The “stars” don’t show up in the Paddock Club either (or at least I didn’t see any) since I presume they have actual paddock/motorhome access.

      2. Bernie wont be going to Germany.

  4. completely unrelated to the round up but thanks again F1F for the great day @ autosport 2013! not a bad way to spend a sunday without a race.

    1. oh also, if there was a caption competition for the ski trip, it would be
      Alonso:”where the **** are those pockets?”

  5. Asked whether he viewed Whitmarsh as a father figure

    what kind of question is that? really…

    1. I’m sure the bond between him and his father is real tight, before a wheel has been turned in anger *rolls eyes*…

      Reporters and Journalists are not asking questions that are particularly pertinent. I would like the following questions to be asked at every interview:

      * Are you happy with how you are fitting in, within the team?
      * Are you you finding that the car suits your driving style?
      * Do you feel the car can improve significantly to propel you up the grid?

      Obviously, pre-season its hard to answer those questions, but, with a bit of changing around of words to “do you think the car will suit your driving style” or “do you think that the team can propel you up the grid for the upcoming season”. The typical answers will all be positive and vague. Then, and this is the important bit, but then follow up with:

      * How do you think you could improve the relationship within the team?
      * In what ways do you think the car could be improved to better suit your driving style, more than it currently does?
      * What would you like to see the team do to the car to improve its performance further?

      Then when the driver fumbles a little bit, rewording their original vague answers and spewing those same answers, then hit them with the following, if they answer more specifically and there is nothing there, then leave that topic go to next:

      * What differences do you see between how you are treated by the team from your teammate?
      * Have you had sat down with the designer and/or engineers to find ways to tweak the car to you?
      * Have the designers and/or engineers explained to you their plans for the development of the car and how it will be improved?

      Answering these 3 sets of questions in this way, will A) strip back typical sports person responses, B) Take the driver out of their comfort zone and they’re just left with either telling the truth or glossing over it C) Provide some useful insight into how teams actually work with their drivers and how some drivers are favoured and others are kept on the outer within teams.

      I’m sure there are some great F1 journalists out there, but I am tired of the continual dribble… From Front of the Grid to the Back of the Grid all us fans hear is:

      A) This upcoming year is looking really promising
      B) The team are great
      C) I’m training harder than ever

      I don’t know about you guys, but I’m over all the dribble :P

      1. After I read the first 2 questions you purposed I thought you were taking the Mick out of codemasters F1 2011. I’m getting fed up of being asked if I think I can win the title when it’s obvious I will lol

      2. Naturally they will have answers for all those questions on their first day with the team.

  6. I wonder what the airport choices are that @bobby-balboa is looking at.

    Hockenheim and the Nürburgring aren’t particularly far from one another.
    Frankfurt’s pretty much the closest international airport to both of them.

    1. Good point. Still, I’d like the race to be confirmed before I’d book a ticket. Maybe there isn’t going to be a German GP at all this year.

    2. As the Nurburgring is in the Eiffel mountains, I would be surprised if airlines did not offer flights to Köln/Bonn as an alternative that is closer. Even Maastricht/Aachen or Liege could be an option, depending on prices.

    3. @orrc

      If the race is at the Nurburgring then I could fly to Frankfurt, Frankfurt Hahn, Cologne, Dusseldorf or Luxemberg. However I will be traveling from Oslo so I can fly direct to Frankfurt with SAS.

      I noticed on the map that Hockenheimring is not so far away & Frankfurt is between them both so this will be my best option. Bernie is saying that the German Grand Prix is confirmed even though the venue isn’t so I might just book the flight & wait for the track to be confirmed & tickets go on sale then work out camping details later.

      Still it’s a pain in the **** that it’s taking so long. No wonder the teams are stalling to sign the new Concorde agreement. Bernie probably told them that the details will be confirmed after they have signed it!!!

  7. Is that picture of the MP4/28 taken from the cockpit? I had hope that they would finally change the grey/mirror base paint given they no longer have a partnership with Mercedes, speaking of, will they now call themselves just Vodafone McLaren?? fingers crossed

    1. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
      16th January 2013, 2:01

      I’m assuming it’s the box they store the chassis in, as it looks too wide to be the car itself. And I doubt they’ll change the livery – paraphrasing here from an article I read some time ago, so feel free to correct, but a member of the team (I think it was Gary Paffet?) said that McLaren would remain “silver and rocket-ship red” for the foreseeable future.

      1. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        16th January 2013, 6:19

        It’s in one of the car bays at mtc and i have to ask why would just a box have a fin attached to it? It’s not going to help aerodynamics much inside the cargo hold of a plane or ship. My guess is it’s the driver view with out head rest steering wheel and display if the mclaren display and wheel are separate.

        1. Yeah, bit weird they’d tweet that really.

        2. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
          16th January 2013, 11:48

          The fin is definitely part of the car, but, to me at least, the blacked-out area with the “MP4/28A #1” label strongly resembles the protective boarding that teams put over the chassis when they are to be transported.

    2. I Love the Pope
      16th January 2013, 3:48

      I hope they go back to red and white (minus, obviously, the marlboro ads).

        1. Where did you get this photo. Looks like a new McLaren with old Livery???

  8. When will McLaren team members learn to stop tweeting sensitive information?!

    1. Quite a funny story actually: I don’t follow McLaren on Twitter, but someone who does retweeted that McLaren tweet and a few seconds after that decided not to retweet that. So to me, it looked like there was a McLaren tweet, but it was deleted immediately afterwards!

  9. I hope Hulkenberg doesn’t face the chop at sauber this season!! lol

  10. Regarding the Nurburgring mess: it really has to be sorted out and quickly too. I am actually doubting whether I should go (I went there in 2010 and loved the place), but this entire thing is very off-putting. My fea is that there are many more fans like me who think: you know what, let’s go for safe and go to Spa/Hungaroring/Monza (or whatever) this year. So it doesn’t really matter what the actual venue for the German GP will be, spectator numbers might be significantly lower than expected. In my opinion, Nurburgrung should just let this one go. I believe in 2010 they made profit out of an F1 race for the first time, but the way it is going now I doubt whether they can do the same this year if the GP were to go ahead. Just let the Hockenheimring have it this year.

    1. Drop Valencia!
      16th January 2013, 10:04

      must have been quiet when you visited the GP in 2010??? ;)

      1. 2011 whoops

  11. Does anyone know why Alexander Rossi was driving a Lotus 25 at Austin yesterday? Something sponsory?

    1. I have no idea – Rossi is affiliated with Caterham, not Lotus.

    2. It was a Lotus 49 not a 25.

  12. Is it me, or does it look like they’re trying to put a guillotine blade through Hulkenberg’s head?

    “And this is what will happen if you don’t meet our expectations…”

    1. I’m guessing it’s a template to make sure his head isn’t too high for the roll hoops but I like your theory better.

  13. What’s the story behind Rossi driving the Lotus 49 at COtA?

  14. Will Williams be able to use their hybrid/flywheel technology as part of 2014 power package? Maybe their engine supply deal with Renault means Renault will adopt this as part of their power package for all Renault powered teams 1n 2014, unfortunately because this development was frozen out of F1 and only used on Le Mans cars I do not know if it will be allowed/competitive for 2014. Anybody know for sure?

Comments are closed.