Sauber sign Hulkenberg for 2013 01 Nov 2012
Nico Hulkenberg is to move from Force India to Sauber next season, the Swiss team confirmed on Wednesday. Sauber will announce their second 2013 driver at a later date, leaving Kamui Kobayashis F1 future uncertain.
Hulkenberg won the GP2 Series in 2009, made his Formula One debut with Williams in 2010 and took a pole position - in Brazil - in his maiden year. The 25-year-old German is currently 12th in the drivers championship, on 49 points after 17 of 20 races, with a best 2012 result of fourth place in Belgium.
Im really looking forward to working with the Sauber F1 Team, said Hulkenberg, who served as a test driver with Force India in 2011 before returning to the grid this season. Its a well-placed team and very competitive. Plus its a team in which young drivers have repeatedly delivered exceptional performances. I would like to take up that baton.
The Sauber F1 Team is currently going through a very positive development and Im certain that together we can achieve a lot. Until that time I will remain fully focused on my job with the Sahara Force India Team. Id like to thank the management at Sahara Force India for giving me the chance to return to Formula One as a team driver.
Sauber team principal, Monisha Kaltenborn, commented: Weve been observing Nico for some time now and his performances have been very persuasive. That was the case in GP2 and has continued into Formula One. An obvious highlight was how he scored pole at Interlagos in 2010 despite the most challenging external conditions. He clearly showed that he can seize the chance if it arises.
But high spots like that are one thing; systematic teamwork is another - and on that score I have confidence in Nico too. Im sure he will fit in very well with the Sauber F1 Team. We look forward to working together with him.
Kaltenborn's Force India counterpart, Vijay Mallya, added: "It has been a pleasure to have Nico with us for the last couple of years. At the end of 2010 we identified him as a star of the future and it has been rewarding to watch him develop his racing skills. Together with Paul [di Resta] he has done a brilliant job for us, helping the team score more points than ever before and giving 100 percent commitment every weekend.
"We would like to thank him for all his hard work and wish him well for the future. With three races remaining this season, we know Nico will remain totally committed and continue to deliver his best performances for the team."
Sauber have been enjoying a strong 2012 season and lie sixth in the constructors standings, one place and 23 points above Force India. Current driver Sergio Perez is moving to McLaren next season. Force India are yet to confirm their 2013 line-up.
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