Hulkenberg signed 2012 race deal after Korean Grand Prix

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    I note today’s Autosport claims Nico Hulkenberg’s deal to replace Adrian Sutil was signed after the Korean Grand Prix (p40).

    Obviously it didn’t come to light until after the end of the season, following the Indian, Abu Dhabi and Brazilian Grands Prix – the latter featuring a particularly fine drive by Adrian Sutil.

    Also in the article, Hulkenberg says: “My pole lap in Brazil was in Vijay Mallya’s mind because he mentioned it a few times during last year.”


    That goes a long way to explaining why he seemed so confident of having a 2012 seat in Brazil. I suspected as much.


    Wow. That’s quite early!

    On the one hand, did Sutil just not know, or, did he know and the last few races he was genuinely having to market himself?


    Still not massively convinced by hulkenberg to be honest. A catchy name and a freak pole position seem to warp people’s perceptions.


    If this is true then I hope that FI gave Sutil his notice around the same time. Im not a massive fan of Adrian but I am of treating people fairly.
    Im inclined to think (hope) they did tell him and AndrewTanner is correct in thinking he drove excellently to sell himself knowing he needed to find a drive.


    I think the Hulks rep is fairly justified, sure he didn’t set the world alight in the first half of ’10 but he outscored Rubens in the last 9 races, had that mega lap in Brazil and has a hugely impressive CV from GP2, F3 etc. I reckon Vijay did the right thing giving him a race seat for ’12 and i’m sure Adrian was made aware of the situation.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    “My pole lap in Brazil was in Vijay Mallya’s mind because he mentioned it a few times during last year.”

    It’s the only thing you did of note in 2010, Nico. Of course it’s going to be the thing that Vijay Mallya mentions several times. Otherwise, you’re just That Guy Vitaly Petrov Hit At The Start In Japan. I swear, Hulkenberg’s pole lap is the only thing 95% of people can remember him doing.


    I am pretty sure, that Sutil knew of it all along. It was about that time that the first rumours of Sutil talking to Williams surfaced (makes even more sense to keep the lid on that now, doesn’t it), and I read in several places, that the deal was done, but the driver out would get time to work on a different seat with the benefit of not being officially out of a job.


    If this was the case then they really should have announced it so Sutil could find a drive for 2012 more easily. Unless of course the choice was still between Sutil and Di Resta, although the general opinion halfway through the year was that Di Resta was already safe.


    It always surprises me that when talking about Nico’s achievements, his dominant performances in A1GP (at 19 years old) are completely forgotten about. Granted the talent pool might not have been as deep as other junior categories, but his racecraft, consistency and wet weather skills were very impressive.

    I think he’s definitely got potential. People seem inclined to claim folk are reading too much into one pole, but thats pretty dismissive of the average F1 fan’s intelligence.



    I swear, Hulkenberg’s pole lap is the only thing 95% of people can remember him doing.

    Two pole laps. Sorry to be pedantic, but it does make a difference. One pole lap would have looked like a fluke, due to the changeable conditions, but two showed he really had the speed that day.

    Otherwise, you’re just That Guy Vitaly Petrov Hit At The Start In Japan. I swear, Hulkenberg’s pole lap is the only thing 95% of people can remember him doing.

    He was also That Guy Who Scored Points In Seven Races In His Debut Season. Seeing as you mentioned him, Vitaly Petrov was That Guy Who Scored Points In Only Five Races In His Debut Season Despite Having A Superior Car, But Stayed In The Sport For The Following Season Because He Was Paying For His Seat. Just for comparison.

    Nobody can argue that Hülkenberg set F1 on fire in his debut season, but he definitely showed potential, and he got a handful of good results. Just because you can’t remember him doing anything except getting pole in Brazil, doesn’t mean that 95% of us can’t!


    @prisoner-monkeys Stop with the bias. I know you don’t like him but that’s not an excuse to completely fail to see his talent. Hulk’s pre-F1 record is very impressive, similar to Hamilton’s. He had a solid first season and we couldn’t really expect much more from him.

    He had a number of impresive races, notably at Valencia, Monza, Hungaroring and a few others, and the qualifying in Interlagos was obviously the high point, and that was phenomenal. Such challenging conditions are the best way to demonstrate your talent when your car is a midfield runner and that’s exactly what Nico did. How often do you see someone finish a race or a qualifying session so much higher than they should with the car at their disposal? Not often. The last example I can think of is Vettel in Monza.

    Hate his personality all you want, it’s your thing, but you could at least respect him for his driving abilities and talent.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    How can I respect his talent when I can’t respect his attitude? Attitude is one of the things I respect the most in a driver, and yet – as has been covered elsewhere – I think Nico Hulkenberg has a very poor attitude.


    I had never heard anything bad about Hülkenberg’s attitude, so I decided to do a quick Google search.

    Five pages of results later, the only mentions of him having a negative attitude came from Portugoose (on this site), Prisoner Monkeys (on this site, agreeing with Portugoose) and Prisoner Monkeys again (on another website).

    Hardly overwhelming evidence. There was one other result of interest, where someone was criticising the attitude of his manager, Wlili Weber, for not seeking out sponsors after his first year at Williams. Considering the vast experience Weber has, and the relative inexperience Hülkenberg has, I think that’s a much fairer place to apportion blame, if any is needed.


    It’s also worth remembering that Hülkenberg ended his association with Weber half way through 2011. Perhaps he realised a bad decision had been made on his behalf in 2010, and wanted to take control of his own affairs. A few months later he had signed for Force India.

    While that’s not necessarily evidence of him having good attitude, it surely at least merits giving him the benefit of the doubt.

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