Nico Hulkenberg could stay put next year despite speculation linking him with several different seats following his strong form in recent races.
“I’ve never ruled Sauber out,” Hulkenberg told The Telegraph. “We are talking to different teams including Sauber.”
Among the other teams Hulkenberg is believed to be considering a switch to is Lotus, who are searching for a replacement for Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen. Team principal Eric Boullier recently indicated Hulkenberg is under consideration by stating the team were not concerned about running a heavier driver (Hulkenberg is one of the tallest in F1) despite next year’s switch to heavier engines.
The 26-year-old has never raced for the same team in consecutive seasons. He made his debut with Williams in 2010 but was dropped to make way for Pastor Maldonado and his PDVSA backing. After a year as Force India’s reserve driver he raced for them in 2012. They are also rumored to be courting their ex-drivers services again for 2014.
Hulkenberg’s move to Sauber began poorly as the team made an uncompetitive start to the season. But following an aerodynamic upgrade in Hungary and the changes to Pirelli’s tires they have found themselves much more competitive in the second half of the year.
Sunday’s United States Grand Prix could go down as a memorable race in Formula 1 history as both Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes bid to clinch their fourth world championships (live on NBC and NBC Sports app from 2pm ET).
Hamilton gave his chances of wrapping up the drivers’ title and re-claiming the crown he lost to Nico Rosberg in 2016 a world of good by charging to pole position on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas.
However, with chief rival Sebastian Vettel starting second for Ferrari and a 16-point swing required, it seems likely that the title race could continue to next weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Nevertheless, here are the permutations for Lewis Hamilton to win his fourth F1 world title on Sunday in Austin, Texas.
- If Lewis Hamilton wins the race (25 points) and Sebastian Vettel finishes sixth or lower (maximum eight points), he is world champion.
- If Hamilton finishes second (18 points), Sebastian Vettel finishes ninth or lower (maximum two points), and Valtteri Bottas does not win the race, he is world champion.
While Hamilton’s coronation seems likely to be postponed until the next race in Mexico, Mercedes looks nailed-on to wrap up its fourth consecutive constructors’ championship in Sunday’s USGP.
The German marque currently leads Ferrari by 145 points in the teams’ standings, and requires a lead of 129 after the race to clinch the crown.
As a result, a double top-four finish from Hamilton and Bottas would be enough for Mercedes to wrap up the title, regardless of how Ferrari fares.
The success would see Mercedes become just the fourth team in F1 history take four straight constructors’ titles, following Red Bull (2010 to 2013), Ferrari (1999 to 2004) and McLaren (1988 to 1991).
The United States Grand Prix is live on NBC and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.