Boullier: Hulkenberg is my first choice

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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has named Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg as his first choice replacement for the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen, with the Frenchman dismissing any rumors suggesting that the driver’s weight could deter the team from signing him.

Lotus look set to retain Romain Grosjean but a number of drivers have been linked to the second seat that Raikkonen has opened up. However, Boullier confirmed in an interview with the official Formula One website that he had made his feelings clear to the team’s management.

When asked who the next best driver to Raikkonen was outside of Lotus, Boullier said: “Nico Hulkenberg.

“I would love to [sign him]. This is the recommendation that I gave to my board.”

With the new regulations in 2014 appearing to penalize heavier drivers, many pundits had suggested that Hulkenberg – at 74kg – would be too heavy for some of the front running teams despite his evident pace. However, Boullier rejected this notion.

“It would matter if you have a problem over weight with the car,” he explained. “I believe we will not have that problem.”

However, the final decision appears to lie with the Lotus board who could place greater importance on the financial incentives that are part of the deal. According to NBC Sports’ Will Buxton, Pastor Maldonado is the other driver in contention for the seat with the Enstone-based team for 2014.

Indy Lights: Oliver Askew wins Freedom 100 in thrilling finish

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Oliver Askew won Friday’s Freedom 100 Indy Lights race in thrilling fashion, narrowly edging out Ryan Norman for the victory by an incredibly slim margin – 0.007 seconds to be exact – in the fourth-closest finish in Freedom 100 history.

Askew took the lead away from teammate Norman mire feet away from the yard of bricks on the final lap, which was all he needed to claim his third win of his maiden Indy Lights season.

“This is unreal,” Askew told NBC Sports in Victory Lane. “I’ve never raced in front of so many people in my life. This is unbelievable.”

“I woke up this morning and I felt like this could be the day. Starting from eighth, I knew I was going to have a good car. This is incredible. Oh my gosh.”

More information to come soon, please check back for updates 

Click here for full Freedom 100 results

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