Formula 1


Nico Hulkenberg's Lotus chances dwindling

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Nico Hulkenberg’s chances for the Lotus drive in 2014 are rapidly decreasing, according to the German.

The 26-year-old is one of the hottest drivers on the grid at the moment but his lack of sponsorship is putting him at a major disadvantage in the driver market for 2014.

In recent weeks the likelihood of a move to Lotus appeared to increase as a consortium known as Quantum Racing claimed they were close to a deal with the team.

However nearly 14 days later and now announcement has been made, it is also understood that today (Friday) is a deadline for the deal to be confirmed.

Asked by Switzerland’s Blick newspaper where he will be racing in 2014, Hulkenberg replied: ”I can only say that I am going (on), but not where.

“The options are well known, Force India, Sauber, Lotus."

The German was recently offered a two-race drive by Lotus as Kimi Raikkonen left early for back surgery, however Hulkenberg claims the move would have been “too risky” as there was no guarantee of a 2014 drive.

Though he did reveal Lotus would have paid him to race: ”Of course I would not drive for nothing. I’m not a charity,” he insisted.

For 2014, however, he admitted: “The chances are the worst at Lotus. If you believe the rumours, Maldonado is already there.”

Another big driver story this week has been McLaren’s ditching of Sergio Perez for rookie Kevin Magnussen, despite conversations with team boss Martin Whitmarsh, Hulkenberg said he was surprised by the lack of interest shown in him by the Woking team.

“I often spoke to Martin Whitmarsh,” he said. “It’s hard to know why there was so little interest. I believe I have made all the right arguments on the track.”

Despite the uncertainty over his future Hulkenberg has said the current situation is not as bad as late 2010 when he was dumped by Williams.

“It was constantly put off and put off until I had nothing,” said Hulkenberg. “But I was still new to the business. Now I’ve got used to it.”

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