Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, Nurburgring, 2013

Half-day for Hulkenberg at Silverstone test

2013 F1 season

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Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, Nurburgring, 2013Nico Hulkenberg will appear for Sauber in next week’s Young Driver Test at Silverstone along with two test drivers.

Hulkenberg will spend half a day in the car on Thursday afternoon as the team takes advantage of the chance to test Pirelli’s new tyres for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion Robin Frijns will spend the first day-and-a-half in the C32. Frijns, who drove for the team at last year’s Young Driver Test, lies ninth in the GP2 standings.

Auto GP points leader Kimiya Sato will make his debut at the wheel of an F1 car at the final day of the test on Friday. Sato, 24, finished third in the German F3 championship last year.

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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...

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9 comments on “Half-day for Hulkenberg at Silverstone test”

  1. It’ll be interesting to see how Frijns will be doing in this test. While AutoGP isn’t considered a very likely step up to F1, Sauber do need money. He knows he’ll have to impress, but has stated in Dutch media he already knows he won’t be doing any low-fuel runs for times. I wonder how much of a consideration he still is for 2014 for Sauber.

    1. Frijns is racing in GP2, Sato’s racing in Auto GP.

      1. I need to be clearer in my comments! Sato might be a threat to Frijns because of his money, but Auto Gp isn’t considered a feeder series, while Frijns has won in both WSR and GP2, he doesn’t have any money. Hence Frijns needs to prove his worth over Sato (and preferably Hulkenberg as well).

    2. @npf1

      While AutoGP isn’t considered a very likely step up to F1, Sauber do need money.

      Perhaps, but it’s a good starting point. There’s a few drivers who have used it to develop their skills whilst keeping out of the spotlight. Sato is one of them; Sergey Sirotkin is another.

      1. I remember Romain Grosjean doing pretty well in AutoGP in 2010, but it didn’t seem to have a large impact on his profile, not anything like his 2011 GP2 season.

        At the same time, a driver like Daniel de Jong scoring points frequently in AutoGP, but failing to impress in the slightest in GP2 does indicate a thing or two about the AutoGP field. With Karthikeyan winning a race as well, I’ve actually heard people talk badly of AutoGP who didn’t know of it before. Kind of how some people dismissed Hulkenberg’s title in A1GP because it was a series where Alex Young won a race in.

        Sato seems like a decent driver to me, but with him paying for a test, you can probably guess what Dutch F1 publications are writing about the man who is testing in ‘Frijns’ car’.

  2. Hulkenberg is only in half a day because any longer and he’ll ask to be paid for it!

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      13th July 2013, 2:50

      Haha yes!

      Also, I think most teams will run their race drivers for a smaller portion so that they can spend more time fitting and testing development upgrades.

      I’m just really interested to see where Mercedes will slot in, in terms of race pace after the test at the Hungaroring.

      1. @tophercheese21

        They’ll probably be in pretty much the same condition, if it’s cool and the tyres don’t warm up fast. Great! If it’s hot…… ugh…. not so good.

  3. I believe that the Hulk would easily accept to drive for only token-payment. He is a race driver, and meanwhile money is an important factor for the managers, he would still be happy only to drive a car that is capable of scoring points as he shown in the last two GPs. In todays F1 I don’t think he would risk losing a seat, moreover abandon his seat just for financial reasons, first, because he won’t die of starvation, second, because he does exactly know how difficult it is in nowadays F1 to fight his way back to the grid once he had to leave. The one and only reason I could imagine, if Ferrari has plans with him for 2014, and ready to replace Massa with him even this year, but this simply won’t happen. If Ferrari or any team wants him for 2014, they would be keen on having a driver that has raced through the 2013 season, and didn’t skip the second half of it.

    So I believe, he has to stay with the team for his own sake.

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