Nico Hulkenberg did not look like a driver with an uncertain future as the 2011 season closed at Interlagos. When asked by BBC commentator David Coulthard to put a figure on the likelihood he will return to the grid in 2012 after a year as Force India’s Friday reserve, the young German grinned widely.
“It’s a high percentage. Two digits, a high percentage,” he said.
It is believed Hulkenberg will replace long-time team driver Adrian Sutil, who is hoping to rescue his career by signing with Williams or Renault.
In Brazil, he sounded frustrated.
“I think I’ve done my job,” said Sutil. “I can not do better and if people can’t see it then I can’t do anything about it,” added the German, who ended the season with 15 more points than his 2011 teammate Paul di Resta, who is tipped to stay.
Asked how much longer he will have to wait to find out, Sutil replied: “Hopefully not very long. We will see what Force India says, and then we’ll see what some others say. I feel fairly safe.”
SID news agency quoted his manager Manfred Zimmermann as saying clarity awaits within the next 10 days.
That ties in with the confident Hulkenberg’s news.
“We’ve just got to be patient for another one or two weeks,” he said.