Formula 1 News

No regrets for Hulkenberg on his Sauber switch

The German driver who mesmerized many in the second half of 2012, concedes the C32 is not where it should be.
Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29th, 2013 (F1plus) Nico Hulkenberg has admitted Sauber is struggling on the aerodynamic front so far in 2013. Off the back of the Swiss team's strong form last year, German Hulkenberg switched from Force India, something it was viewed for some as a lateral move, instead of a jump up.

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It seems a long shot now to see any of the C32 drivers to pay a visit to the podium this year unless a drastic change in performance occurs. In contrast, it is Silverstone based Force India that is performing more impressively so far this year, causing some to wonder if Hulkenberg is regretting his move.

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"No," the 25-year-old told the Swiss website 20 Minuten. "There have been only four races.

"Definitely we are not satisfied, and neither am I, but the season is long -- you can't write it off.

"There is still potential in the car, and when we find the right parts, we can turn the season around."

Hulkenberg said he is not getting frustrated, even though he is the same age as Sebastian Vettel, who is the reigning triple world champion.

"Sometimes you just have to be patient," he told Brazil's Totalrace. "There are many others who also had to wait for their time to come.

"I'm comfortable where I am now."

Hulkenberg said the main issue with the Ferrari-powered C32 is the aerodynamics.

"The flow is not exactly the same as the engineers expected," he revealed.

There has been speculation the situation was worsened by Pirelli's 60 per cent scale wind tunnel tyres.

"Generally, some teams might have a problem because the (wind tunnel) tyres are not exactly as they are in the races, so there could be a discrepancy," said Hulkenberg.

On the bright side, Hulkenberg has so far utterly dominated his struggling rookie teammate Esteban Gutierrez.

"Currently in qualifying it is 4-0," said the German, "which is something I keep my eye on.

"But Esteban is a rookie, and everything is as new to him as it was for me in 2010.

"He is often quite quick on a lap, so he's still gathering his experience and will surely get better."

(GMM)

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