Current Nico Hülkenberg

Never have I known so many people rate a test driver as a future world champion so I thought I'd start a thread for people to pass there opinions on young Nico.

Has an incredible record in other Formula's - won A1 Go in 06, won F3 euro masters in 08, won GP2 in 09 and then came into F1. There was a lot of hype around Mr Hulkenberg in arriving in F1 as he was seen as the next 'Lewis Hamilton' but in all honest in the car he was driving he was never going to be able to match what Lewis did as a rookie the question remains though did he do enough? He scored 25 points to his experienced team-mate Rubens Barrichello's 47 which doesn't look good - however is it unfair to judge a rookie against the most experienced F1 driver in history? Especially a driver who was having a resurgent after being a world championship contender the season before.

To be fair to Hulkenberg he got better as the season went on and it was clear he was getting to grips with F1 - the icing on the cake of course was the brilliant pole he scored in the wet in Brazil. Although tactical he was advised as when to go and on what tyres he still had to produce the time and being on pole by over a second is pretty impressive. I think if Williams could have afforded to keep him on they would have done but needs must when the bank manager drives and poor old Nico was shown the door.

Currently testing with Force India and you have to think that right now he's breathing down Sutil's neck for the race seat. I really hope they take a gamble on him earlier than later as want to see how he fares against Di Resta - I actually think that might be the making of both of them. Currently Di Resta is being praised and lined up for the Merc drive at the moment but you have to say if Hulkenberg comes in and beats him surely Merc would take the Nico option?

Is he as good as he's hyped or does having Will Weber as you manager help you become hyped up? Interestingly back in 2009, when he was being considered for replacing Luca Badoer at Ferrari, Weber stated that Hulkenberg would not take the seat now but he would sign for Ferrari in 3 years time - that makes 2012 - next season!

As mentioned on another thread there have been 2 world champions who have had a season of F1 and then dropped out to take a test driver role for another year - Mika Hakkinen and Fernando Alonso - will Nico make it a hattrick?
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Looks like they may have made him angry 8th in first practice and quicker than Paul Di Resta - thats a timley reminder for VJ isn't it?
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I have to say I agree with the decisions both here and at Toro Rosso. We know how good Adrian is now, he's a perfectly adequate midfield driver and deserves to be in F1, but he isn't a star nor a potential champion. Nico may or may not be, but until he gets a proper chance we don't know.

Personally I think it's a good thing in general for some of the old, safe pairs of hands to be moved on, even if some of the replacements aren't necessarily any better. The more turnover of drivers, the better chance to uncover the next Vettel, perhaps?
 

jez101

Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
Contributor
I have to say I agree with the decisions both here and at Toro Rosso. We know how good Adrian is now, he's a perfectly adequate midfield driver and deserves to be in F1, but he isn't a star nor a potential champion. Nico may or may not be, but until he gets a proper chance we don't know.

Personally I think it's a good thing in general for some of the old, safe pairs of hands to be moved on, even if some of the replacements aren't necessarily any better. The more turnover of drivers, the better chance to uncover the next Vettel, perhaps?

I agree with the principle, but I think that turning over guys who are 21, 23 (ALG & BUE) for younger blood is wrong. Sutil is 28 and you could say that only now is he really ready for F1.

What would have happened to Button with this type of approach? He would have been on the scrapheap after Benetton and would never have matured into the driver he is now. I can sort of understand Renault and Force India's decisions, not Toro Rosso's though.

I think it's a poisoned challice for Ricciardo and Vergne. Hey, they might be "the next Sebastian Vettel", but they could also be the next Jaime Alguersuari - finished at 21 (I hope not).
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I take your point with Button, Jez. The thing with the Toro Rosso drivers is that, despite their ages, they were experienced in F1 terms. Generally a big chunk of the improvement comes in the first couple of seasons as drivers come to terms with the circuits, the cars and so on. Probably the testing ban has lengthened that process, but I don't know that I could see much more progression with those two. Obviously Button is the glaring exception, but I can't really think of anyone else in that category.

I'm very aware I didn't take this position with Heidfeld/Senna either. My only defence is that I don't think Senna is any good. :)
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Mansell, Hill, Keke Rosberg all had very so so years before being champion?

Yeah and all went from team to team. Buemi and Alguersauri knew what they were getting into when they joined Toro Rosso - the youth team. They leave it both with good reputations and 3 years F1 experience whilst if they'd taken another path then would have been unheard of young drivers probably trying to push through from GP2.

Back on topic - welcome back the Hulk! the fight with Di Resta next year is probably going to be one of the highlights of 2012!
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
Happy he's back...wasn't happy the way Williams handled his situation in 2010.

"Hulkenberg will get replaced"
Hulkenberg gets pole position.... "Oh we are keeping him, but Barrichello might be the one to get dropped"

Then the lad gets dropped for a Frankenstein look alike, who apparently funds the whole teams wages for 5 years according to F1 Racing.
 

downforce

Race Winner
Has anyone noticed much of Hulkenburg at all this year?

I don't think he can keep going on his pre F1 reputation for much longer, I do think he was harmed by being a rookie not long after 2007 but I think he is starting to get forgotten

Paul Di Resta is absoloutely handling him so far

Di Resta: 3 points finishes - 15 points
Hulkenburg: 1 points finish - 2 points

I don't actually know whats been happening to him in the races, I started to forget about him.

The best he can say is he has beaten Schumachers best result so far this year.
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
Well Hulkenberg did get into the top 10 in Australia where Di Resta was nowhere then got punted off in the first comer.

He hasn't been spectacular.

Worth noting that Di Resta's had a full season on Pirelli tyres and these type of cars, while Hulkenberg hasn't.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Hulk angry at puny Force India strategists for messing up his qualifying! Grrrrr

On a serious note though anyone think the team seem to have a better understanding with Di Resta than Nico?
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
Well the differing reactions of Nico and Paul to Force Indias tactics in Singapore quali alone seems to indicate that but I guess I'm looking at how many times Di Resta's strategy seems to work out better than the Hulks really. They seem to know his stregths better.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
and just to fuel this argument -

in races they've both finished this season the score is 5-5

Both have a highest finish of 4th

and whilst Di Resta is 13 points ahead in the championship he's only had 1 retirement and Hulkenberg has had 3 (I'm counting Singapore as he was on for a solid result without issues)

HULK CRUSH PUNY SCOTSMAN!

hulk.jpg
 
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