The German has been awaiting news from Lotus about whether or not an investment deal with Quantum Motorsports would come off. If it did not, then the team was poised to take Pastor Maldonado instead, leaving Hulkenberg set for either Force India or another season at Sauber.
With Quantum’s owners claiming that its deal with Lotus is now done (although that has yet to be officially confirmed by the team), Hulkenberg says that he is prepared to delay making a final decision.
“I am going to set it back a bit,” he said about the time frame for his decision originally being set for the end of October. “It wasn’t a deadline as such, it was a wish list at the time. And that has squeezed back slightly.”
Despite an impressive second half to the campaign for Sauber where he has battled against some of F1’s biggest stars, Hulkenberg has still found his future dependent on the finances of other teams. Although the money situation has put him at risk of losing out on the seat at Lotus that he wants, he insists he is not too upset about what is happening in F1.
“Yes, it is a little bit disappointing and tough, but it is nothing new,” he said. “I have had an experience there already in 2010 [losing a drive with Williams] and it is not fun or a pleasure. It is disappointing but I can’t allow it to get me down. I have to keep doing what I am doing as that is the best advertisement.
“Of course, in the ideal world you would only like the talent to be valued and accounted for over who gets what drive, but that is not how it works at the moment.”
When asked if Lotus’ financial situation was worrying, given Raikkonen’s claims that he had not been paid, Hulkenberg said: “I think first of all Kimi’s salary is a lot larger than mine! But I am not concerned in terms of what he has been doing.”