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Hulkenberg plays down impact of Korea on 2014 options

ESPN Staff
October 7, 2013 « McLaren promises 'headline-grabbing' signings to technical team | Horner frustrated by slow response to Webber fire »
Nico Hulkenberg: "I don't think that a single race will change the staffing policy of any team" © Sutton Images

Nico Hulkenberg is not convinced his giant-killing performance at the Korean Grand Prix will land him a seat at a top team next year.

Hulkenberg is in the running to replace Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus next year, but is likely to face stiff competition from several drivers, including Felipe Massa. Hulkenberg and Sauber have upped their game at recent races and scored 24 points in three races, butHulkenberg, who finished fourth in Korea by keeping Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso behind him, does not think it will change his prospects for 2014.

"This is something that I am not thinking about here and now," he told the Formula One website. "I am happy about how it went for me and the team today - I am simply enjoying the moment. I also don't think that a single race will change the staffing policy of any team."

Asked if staying with Sauber was a tempting option now the team has rediscovered some form, he added: "I would say that after such a race it is the wrong moment to think about that and to start to speculate. Yes, we definitely made a huge step forward, but - like in Singapore - we also profited from retirements, otherwise we would not have bagged so many points there.

"This weekend our concept simply worked out: having good speed with good traction. It sounds simple, but believe me, it isn't! I want to give my compliments to the team for their effort this weekend."

Hulkenberg reiterated that Korea was one of the best races of his career.

"I just know that this was one of my best races ever. And yes, it probably was some sort of masterpiece. I've had many cars in my rear view mirrors in my career so far, but today was really special with two world champions! Lewis (Hamilton) and Fernando (Alonso) were pushing very hard the whole race, especially later in the race with Lewis in the last sector. But my trick was to see that I exited corner one with enough speed - and it worked. The car had fantastic traction today and that kept us alive - and it was fast on the straights as well. I think that is what the guys behind me had to swallow whether they liked it or not."