Nico Hulkenberg believes that Sergey Sirotkin will face a baptism of fire when he enters Formula One next season as the Russian driver begins to prepare for life with Sauber.
Sirotkin is poised to become the youngest F1 driver of all time if he makes the step up next season, with his promotion being part of the financial package that has secured Sauber’s future in the sport. At just seventeen, many believe that he is too young to be driving at such a high level, and Hulkenberg believes that he will face a tough start next season.
“I think for him it’s going to be tough,” the German driver explained. “Of course, if you jump from World Series to Formula One, then that is a big jump. For sure, he will need some time to acclimatize and get used how everything is working here, but it’s not much to do with me to be honest.”
Regarding his own future, Hulkenberg admitted that he is yet to make a decision for next season, but he is keen on securing a seat by the end of next month.
“I want to make a decision when I feel that I’ve made the right choice and when I’m comfortable with everything including involving the team. We would ideally like to have it done by September, end of September.”
Sirotkin’s arrival at the team would be dependent on him securing a superlicence that allows drivers to race in F1. However, relying he meets all of the necessary requirements, it is possible that Hulkenberg may be dropped by Sauber in favor of the finance that both Sirotkin and Esteban Gutierrez can bring to the team.
With Felipe Massa’s contract expiring at the end of the season, the German driver has been linked to Ferrari, but it remains to be seen just where Hulkenberg will end up come the beginning of next year.