Hulkenberg wants Lotus decision before November

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Nico Hulkenberg days he wants a decision on his future by the end of the month as he does not want to find himself without a seat next year.

Hulkenberg was left without a seat following his first year in F1 with Williams in 2010 and wants to avoid a repeat.

“I want to have some certainty about my future – and not in November,” Hulkenberg told Autosport.

“I have experienced falling over the back in 2010, and I am not going to risk doing that again.”

Hulkenberg has impressed many with his recent performance for Sauber after the team struggled in the first half of the season. He qualified third and finish fifth in Italy, then took fourth place in the Korean Grand Prix last weekend.

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has hinted he is considering hiring Hulkenberg for next year by saying he would not be swayed by the issue of driver weight. Hulkenberg is one of the tallest and therefore heavier drivers on the grid, and weight will be especially crucial next year due to the new engine regulations.

“We’re more interested in the talent and potential of a driver rather than the difference of a few kilos,” said Boullier, who is searching for a replacement for the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen.

F1 2017 driver review: Nico Hulkenberg

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Nico Hulkenberg

Team: Renault
Car No.: 27
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Abu Dhabi)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 43
Championship Position: 10th

Expectations were hard to peg for Renault heading into its second full season back in F1 with a factory team, but Nico Hulkenberg was surely expected to be the man spearheading its charge.

With teammate Jolyon Palmer severely underperforming, Hulkenberg did exactly that, bringing home all but 14 of the team’s points in the final standings. However, consistency was never something he truly found.

Many of Renault’s issues were down to reliability issues, sidelining Hulkenberg for six races – four coming in a five-race stint from Singapore to Mexico – yet he only scored points in consecutive races on three occasions.

When Hulkenberg and Renault were on form, they proved to be a potent combination, often topping the midfield fight and even looking faster than Force India come the end of the season. His run to sixth at the final race in Abu Dhabi was crucial for the constructors’ championship as Renault jumped Toro Rosso, securing an extra slice of prize money in the process.

But for a driver who was so often tipped as being a future star in F1, Hulkenberg still has a lot to prove. Renault is set to offer a good platform for the German moving forward with factory support, yet if he cannot beat new teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. through 2018, concerns will surely be raised.

Season High: Charging to sixth in Abu Dhabi despite a penalty.

Season Low: A tough run to 16th in Malaysia.