Sauber confirms Nico Hulkenberg for 2013

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 31, 2012 12:10 hrs

Abu Dhabi, Oct 31 (IANS) Sauber Formula One team have confirmed the signing of current Sahara Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg for the 2013 season.

Hulkenberg, 25, is 12th in the drivers' standings this season after some solid finishes for Force India in his second F1 season.

"I'm really looking forward to working with the Sauber," the German said in a statement issued by Sauber.

"It's a well-placed team and very competitive. Plus it's a team in which young drivers have repeatedly delivered exceptional performances. I would like to take up that baton."

Hulkenberg caught the eyes of many in his debut season at Williams in 2010 when he took pole at the Brazilian Grand Prix, but finished eighth after failing to convert the grid spot into a strong race finish.

Sauber's Monisha Kaltenborn, who became F1's first female team principal earlier this month, suggested she would prize consistent finishes over flashy performances like the Brazil pole.

"High spots like that are one thing; systematic teamwork is another - and on that score I have confidence in Nico too," she said.

Sauber's second seat for 2013 is still open, with the team's Mexican test driver Esteban Gutierrez strongly linked with the drive.

Of the Swiss team's current drivers, Sergio Perez has signed for McLaren for next year, but Kamui Kobayashi has admitted he is struggling to find sponsors to back his bid to stay in F1.

Sauber has had one of its strongest seasons this year, with three podiums for Perez and one for Kobayashi, the team's best-ever haul of podiums as an independent outfit.

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