Five reasons why Ferrari should sign Hulkenberg

© F1 Pulse, 21 August 2014
© Force India

Ferrari boasts of a star-studded driver line-up this season but is yet to provide a decent car for its drivers, a trend which Fernando Alonso is well aware of. With Marco Mattiacci’s appointment as team principal, despite lacking the experience in Formula One, and Maranello’s attempts to revive the struggling team through internal restructuring, the time is right for the Italian outfit to pump in new blood as well.

There are several candidates that could spruce up the driver line-up but none is more suitable that Nico Hulkenberg. Here’s why:

© AP Photo/Luca Bruno

AGE

Hulkenberg turned 27 a few days ago and has many years left in him to compete at the highest level. In contrast, Fernando Alonso is 33 while his teammate Kimi Raikkonen will be 35 later in October. It’s not that Hulkenberg is better than the ‘Fire and Ice’ duo – although he potentially could be – but a rebuilding exercise with someone with age on his side is better than a driver in the dawn of his career.

TALENT

The most obvious reason for Hulkenberg to get a top seat in F1 is his phenomenal talent – and most pundits and observers will agree. He may be tall and on the heavy side but he compensates that extremely well, and perhaps squeezes a bit more to produce results. This season, before the Hungarian Grand Prix, the German was the only one to finish in points in all the races; a feat that only Alonso could continue ahead of the summer break.

If not in his prime, Hulkenberg will soon hit his peak and it’s very likely that it will sustain for years to come. And if he does fail to produce the goods, it won’t be horrendously off the mark - ala Felipe Massa. A partner in Alonso or Raikkonen would only do a world of good.

© AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama

EXPERIENCE

Now racing in his fourth season in F1, Hulkenberg has the valuable experience to lead a team. The fact that he doesn’t offer millions – again compensated by the results he gets – has forced him to lead a nomadic life in the sport. He has raced under different structures and paths with Williams, Force India and Sauber and has been shining bright. He has been teamed up with the most experienced driver in F1 – Rubens Barrichello, beat the immensely gifted Paul di Resta at Force India, and led Sauber’s charge in the second half of the preceding season. This year, he has thoroughly upstaged McLaren discard Sergio Perez with consistent performances rather than one of those ‘hit or miss’ podiums, which he’s yet to register.

MERCEDES KNOWLEDGE

Ferrari can easily afford to buy out Hulkenberg’s Force India contract, should the need be. And it stands to gain enormously if it does. The German will have some know how about how the Mercedes power units work and that information can simply be fed to Ferrari. Hulkenberg has proved that he comprehends the drivability aspect under the new regulations and any more information that he can reveal to the Italians has to be beneficial.

© Force India

COST

Ferrari has been reported to be shelling out $44 million for its two current drivers, that’s $12 million more than what Mercedes has spent for this season. Hulkenberg’s salary of $4 million at Force India, in contrast, shouldn’t be much of a problem then, even if it has to buy out his contract.

Alonso has been reported to be in negotiations with Ferrari to extend his contract beyond 2016 for three more years in a new deal rumoured to be over €100 million while Raikkonen isn’t sure if he will be in F1 beyond 2015. Sebastian Vettel has been repeatedly linked to Ferrari but with four titles and a $22 million salary, you can only imagine how much he'd cost.

So, Alonso and Hulkenberg at Ferrari sound good?

 

Want to be the fastest to lap up F1 content? ‘Follow’ us on TWITTER and ‘like’ us on FACEBOOK.


COMMENTS