Nico Hulkenberg denies being set to quit Sauber but keeps future options open

Reports in Germany claimed Nico was set to walk out on team

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 25/07/13 4:21pm

  • Share:

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Nico Hulkenberg has dismissed rumours he is on the verge of quitting Sauber as "rubbish", but admitted that his future beyond this season is unresolved.

Although concerns about Sauber's financial affairs have been alleviated this month by the team's new sponsorship deal with three Russian institutions, reports surfaced in Hulkenberg's native Germany on the eve of his arrival in Budapest for this weekend's race that the driver was set to leave Sauber after not being paid since May.

But while Hulkenberg - a reputed target for Ferrari and Lotus for 2014 - would not be drawn on those claims, the 25-year-old is adamant that his immediate future remains with Sauber.

Asked directly by Sky Sports News whether he would stay with the team for the rest of the 2013 season, Hulkenberg's reply was emphatic: "Absolutely".

Yet although Hulkenberg's short-term future appears to be tied to Sauber, the German did not shy away from admitting that he is eyeing a seat further up the grid in 2014.

"The future is still open, my management and I are looking at all the possible options, including Sauber," he confirmed. "Nothing has been decided and we are still quite a way away from making a decision too."

Hulkenberg welcomed the backing that the Investment Cooperation International Fund, The State Fund of Development of North-West Russian Federation and the National Institute of Aviation Technologies will bring, but was more equivocal about the prospect of Sergey Sirotkin racing for them.

Sauber's intention is that Sirotkin, who has yet to turn 18, will graduate next season. He currently contests the Formula Renault 3.5 series but most eyes have been drawn to the fact that his father heads NIAT.

"I think it's definitely good news, positive news - fresh support and new partners. Obviously cash is very powerful and important in Formula 1, to go forward and develop. It's a good sign," Hulkenberg added.

"Me, I wasn't ready for Formula 1 at that point. It is ambitious, and maybe a bit risky, but it's not my decision."

  • Share:

Related

F1 Transfer Gossip

Palmer lands Lotus role

Lotus have unveiled Britain's GP2 Series champion Jolyon Palmer as their third driver for the 2015 season.

Robson joins Williams

Dave Robson, Jenson Button’s former race engineer at McLaren, has joined Williams as part of an engineering shake-up.

Wolff: Alonso would top shortlist

McLaren's Fernando Alonso would top Mercedes’ shortlist were the team not able to agree a new deal with Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff has said.

Poll

Most Popular

Features

2015 driver numbers

2015 driver numbers

The numbers the 18 confirmed drivers will be racing with when the 2015 F1 season gets underway.

2014 driver review

2014 driver review

From Lewis Hamilton to Andre Lotterer, every driver's year reviewed and rated from the 2014 season.

Ericsson joins Sauber

Ericsson joins Sauber

Swede secures 2015 seat a week after Caterham withdrew from grid - but it's unclear who he will replace.