Hülkenberg declines Lotus drive
13 November 2013 – Nico Hülkenberg has declined the chance to sub for Kimi Räikkönen and race for Lotus in the final two races of the season, his manager has confirmed. Hülkenberg apparently went to Enstone for a seat fitting, before deciding to see out the year with Sauber.
“We had an offer from Lotus and are available. We have discussed it, but we decided that Nico will drive the last two races with Sauber,” Werner Heinz told Germany’s Bild newspaper.
Räikkönen will miss the race in the United States this weekend and the season finale in Brazil after opting to undergo surgery on his back. Despite, rejecting Lotus for the final two races, however, Hülkenberg remains in the frame to drive for the squad in 2014, along with Pastor Maldonado.
Who will fill in for Räikkönen at the Circuit of the Americas and at Interlagos has still to be announced, although Lotus third driver, Davide Valsecchi and Caterham test and reserve pilot, Heikki Kovalainen have both been mooted, with the latter now the favourite it seems. An official statement from the Lotus F1 Team is expected sometime on Thursday.