Is it just me or is Nico Hulkenberg – who I consider to be the standout driver not currently in a top tier team – looking likely he may be overlooked by another top team?
Now the above is a big claim to make, with many drivers flattering to decieve in junior formulae. So lets just look at some of the highlights of his career before he got to F1:
- Karting > started aged ten (1997), winning the German junior karting championship and German karting championship in consecutive years
- Formula BMW > won the Formula BMW championship at the first time of asking in , and the world final, only to be stripped of it for some pretty questionable braking manoevres during a safety car period.
- A1 GP > stepped into the German team in 2006-07, dominating in his rookie season with 9 wins and the championship (more than 60 points ahead of Pastor Maldonado).
- Formula 3 Euro series > taking 7 wins and the title in 2008.
- GP2 > you guessed it. 2009 Champion
Now the intention of this blog is not to be stat heavy, but you’ll no doubt appreciate there are signs of real calibre here.
We all know the trials and tribulations, ups and downs of his time so far in F1, not least the pole for Williams and some genuine standout drives.
Now I can understand the Ferrari position in taking Kimi, who is still driven to win, still one of the very top guys in F1 and a very consistent performer.
But surely Nico Hulkenberg has done just as much as any other young driver to place himself in the shop window.
The plot thickens….
Having read some of the very insightful comments on twitter over the last couple of days from some top line drivers (Mark Webber and Alex Wurz to name but two) about driver height and weight it really asks some serious questions.
Yes, driver fitness and strength have been key drivers of performance in F1 for some time, but with the ’14 rules stressing technical teams to the limit on powertrain weight, I can’t help but worry for young Nico.
Should it be that driver weight and height has such a bearing on success or indeed even in getting a top drive? I don’t think so personally….
With Hamilton, VetteI, Kimi and Alonso all tied down, I can’t believe Lotus and McLaren are not knocking on the door of this guys manager.
In my humble opinion, McLaren could be missing out on their next World Champion if they don’t find a place for Nico.
F1 has always been heralded as a drivers championship, so lets hope someone somewhere remembers that when looking at minimum car weights.