Has Nico Hulkenbergs pole position saved him for 2011?

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    Not really to be honest, he fell apart fairly soons after the start of the race.

    Fair enough he got pole but thats what you get with those weather conditions. Soon after the start, the graphic showed Hulkenberg with a “yellow” -9. Realistically he wasn’t ever going to beat the Red Bulls, Alonso or Hamilton etc.

    Mark Webber showed that when he duped him at Turn 4, i think it was. Hulkenberg could have put up a better fight.

    Having said all that, it would be nice if he, or any other rookie for that matter, was given more than one year to prove themselves. But as we all know, in F1, money talks and thats about the size of it.


    Last year Kobayashi exploded onto the scene in part because of his defence against Button for several laps. Hulkenburg in my view did as good if not better today against two world champions.

    Ok, call me crazy, but I’ve got a feeling that we could see Williams take on Maldonado as a test driver, with Hulkenberg and Barichello as their race drivers, and then end up rotating the three of them through the season.

    Is a driver allowed to drive in one car in Friday practice and another for the rest of the weekend? If so we could see Maldonado test for Williams on Friday morning, Yamamoto or whomever for HRT, and then Maldonado would spend the rest of the weekend with HRT. Unlikely though.


    Which would have been impressive if qualifying was run in the same conditions as the race. But it wasn’t – Hulkenberg qualified in variable conditions,

    Don’t all the pundits and experts always say that the trickiest, most difficult challenge to drive in is variable wet weather? That it always sorts the great drivers from the average ones, when they can put the car on the limit when there’s no clear idea of where the limit is at any given point in the track? That’s why most of the best races this year have been wet ones.

    On a dry weekend, F1 races are a procession because speed reverts to 90% Car+Engineers. Change the weather and it’s suddenly the other way around, it’s all down to the man behind the wheel.

    The man behind the wheel of the Williams beat Vettel, who’s been the polesitter pretty much all year, by a whole second. It impressed the other drivers, it impressed the pundits, and it shocked his own team. So no, I think you’re wrong here. Hulkenberg’s pole was extremely impressive, and if a rookie in a car that’s over a second slower on race pace than the cars behind had lasted longer than Hulkenberg did then I’d give him full credit, but Hulkenberg did a good, professional, and fair job defending – Kobayashi got the plaudits for keeping Button behind at Interlagos last year, but look at him this year when he wasn’t making illegal swerving moves in the braking zones – passed time and time again at the same corner, locking his front right every time.


    Thought he raced well today, with fewer errors than his otherwise decent races in Korea and Monza. Good clean defence against faster cars, particularly Hamilton, and he kept ahead of Kubica for lap after lap. It took some top-class attacks and dummies from Webber and Alonso to outsmart him, and he was unlucky to lose out being lapped just before the safety car.

    The other impressive thing about the pole is it was a normal grid behind him, not a crazy mixed-up one.

    I guess even Rubens will go over the hill eventually, but he’s got some OK results for Williams, it was his idea to go on slicks in qualifying (which Hulkenberg then tried, you know the rest) and it sounds like he’s contributed greatly to car development this year and next. As for dropping Rubens for a pay driver – that’s no way to end such a distinguished career, surely even Frank Williams wouldn’t do that…!


    This thread should be re-named Has Nico Hulkenberg’s 8th place saved him for 2011?

    Because I think the answer is “no”. It was a spirited defence against Alonso, but he kind of folded after that.

    Of course it has. As mentioned already, he kept Alonso behind him for a couple of laps, looked like he would have kept Hamilton behind him for the duration and did in fact keep Kubica behind him for the whole race. All of whom are in faster cars. The only thing that allowed people past him after Alonso, was the pitstops. Where is the shame in that?


    Full credit to Hulkenburg but we have to look at a season average. Surely Williams need to be sensible and ensure they base their decision on 19 race weekends, not 1 quali session.

    However..that kind of result on Saturday has thrown the gauntlet down to Petrov @ Renault though!


    Clearly he’s not done enough! I thought he’d been pretty good, especially in the second half of the year:



    I say he’s off to Force India to replace the hopeless Liuzzi.


    Ridiculous from Williams, I think he should become Mercedes new test driver, waiting in the wings until Schumacher retires (Which might not happen for another 3 years though).

    Or a more realistic option is like SennaNmbr1 said but replace him with the hopeless Sutil rather than Liuzzi.


    Sutil’s more reliable than Liuzzi. The Hulk has got to be a contender for a seat at FI… maybe Renault with Petrov surely out of the door?

    Prisoner Monkeys

    The Hulk has got to be a contender for a seat at FI… maybe Renault with Petrov surely out of the door?

    What’s more impressive: a pole position in variable conditions … or holding Fernando Alonso at bay for forty laps? It’s a no-brainer – Petrov is a better choice than Hulkenberg.

    Ned Flanders

    I don’t think many people will agree with you on that PM. Impressive though Petrov’s performance on Sunday was, it wasn’t in the same stratosphere as Hulkenberg’s heroics at Interlagos. Of course, his mediocre performance at Abu Dhabi should serve to remind us he has a long way to go yet, but he clearly has potential.

    I wonder if perhaps your continued Hulkenberg hate is simply the product of you not wanting to retract on all your criticisms of him in the past?…

    Prisoner Monkeys

    I don’t want to retract my criticisms for a good reason: I think they’re valid. One pole position in variable conditions (which have produced unpredictabe grid results plenty of times in the past – look at Malaysia this year or Brazil 2009) does not absolve Hulkenberg of his scrappy season. He’s needlessly thrown away certain points finishes through overdriving the car on several occasions, and endangered the few points that he does get with on-track behaviour that risks the ire of the stewards (like cutting the chiance in Belgium, Italy and Singapore, which might be understandable if it weren’t for the fact that they were run in succession). His pole in Brazil was impressive, but he’s got a long way to go just yet.


    It wasn’t just a pole position it was a complete annhilation of the field. Noone even came close to his time. It may have been when the conditions were all over the place but that’s the best opportunity he had. That’s when mopst new stars shine as it’s the only chance they get is when the conditions are tricky as it’s a chance to put one over on the top guys.

    Nico has a long way to go but for his first year his pace has been mighty impressive at times. He’s not been great on a Sunday though.

    Petrov was really good at Abu Dhabi especially to withstand pressure from Alonso and he’s more of a racer than Nico but the Renault was quicker on the straights and there are fewer conventional passing places at that track than Abu Dhabi.

    I like and rate Petrov and I hope he stays at Renault but I couldn’t absolutely say Petrov deserved that seat more than Nico.

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