Nico ‘The Hulk’ Hulkenburg put to end the constant paddock rumours by signing for Sauber yesterday.
It’s an interesting move from Hulkenburg, whom I believe is the best “young” driver currently on the grid. He has great qualifying speed, a wet pole position to his name (always a marker of a great driver) and is beating the highly regarded and settled Paul Di Resta at Force India.
I reckon there is some some strong Ferrari influence present behind this move. Sauber isn’t necessarily even a move “up” from Force India. Yes, they’ve performed well this year but the main man behind this year’s car (James Key) is no longer present at the team. Force India over the last 3 years have been rather consistent with performance. But Sauber have historically been a ‘stepping stone’ for Ferrari (who supply their engines).
A lot of people believe Vettel will drive for Ferrari come 2014. Whilst I’ll address this issue in detail in another article, but in short: I don’t think he will. I agree with Montezemolo when he says:
“Two roosters in the hen house I do not like and it only creates an imbalance and tension. Harmony in a team is the most important thing and even more so in difficult times when all you need to do is recover.”
Hulkenburg is who I see partnering Alonso at Ferrari should Felipe Massa not perform well in 2013. He’ll be a challenging and reliable team-mate who can win races and garner constructors points.
Alonso will most likely retire in 2016 which will then pave the way for the Vettel era at Maranello…