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GP Week : Issue 194
5 MINUTES GPWeeK: Let’s talk about your season. You joined sauber hoping for podiums, I’m assuming. But that wasn’t quite the case, initially struggling for points and there’s been an upturn in form recently again with the car. How would you describe your season? NICO HULKENBERG: I have to clarify that a bit. I wasn’t signing up here thinking we were just going to be on the podium. That would be very naïve and unrealistic, but I was signing here in the hope and in the faith of having a strong performance and last year’s performance and car was definitely strong and had a lot of strong results and performance in it and I was hoping for that again this year. We know then from 2012 to 2013 few things have changed, the regulations were pretty stable but tyres, etc., etc. and unfortunately we found ourselves not as strong as we would have liked to be in the beginning of the season – pretty much half-way through the season, we were struggling. Only seven points in eight or nine races, or whatever it was. A pretty tough start to the year. Not tough, more disappointing is probably the right word. But the team never gave up, they kept working hard, they kept ticking away, and I think there’s a combination of factors coming together why we’re moving up now so much. Right, so would that be the tyres, would that be that the upgrades have started coming now with the financial situation a bit clearer? I think everything together. I think the tyres have done their bit as well and helped it. Then we introduced a major upgrade in Budapest. For me personally, I see the positive trend starting to come up since Nurburgring and that was the race before Budapest. Then Budapest we got the big upgrade together with the new tyres so it’s difficult to tell which one is doing what. But for sure we measure more downforce with the upgrade package we brought. So that has helped a lot. And then I think our general understanding of how to set up the car which is you know basic, simple set up things which we have in the car, set up tools, we have learned how to get around some of the weaknesses from the car and you know, masking them, and that has helped significantly as well. Going to get this next one out of the way; I’m sure you’re tired of answering it as well. What’s the update on your negotiations with Lotus, because you had said you wanted a clarification by the end of this month? continued over page ... 5 MINUTES WITH NICO HULKENBERG shortly after talking to Eric Boullier [see feature late in this issue] in India, Abhishek Takle spoke to Nico Hulkenberg about his prospects of a 2014 race seat with the team, and any other options on the table 18 GPWEEK.com // 18 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: