Formula 1

Hulkenberg Hoping To Secure 2012 Drive By Impressing In Test Role

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Nico Hulkenberg has said that he is ‘excited’ about his move to Force India, despite the fact that he will only be test and reserve driver in 2011.

The German, who drove for Williams last season, feels that it is important to remain within the F1 community and hopes that he can secure a race drive for 2012 if he impresses his new employers this year.

“I feel excited about my new home in F1,” said the 23-year-old. “I am looking forward to working here and of course I am especially looking forward to driving the car for the first time. The team have made a huge leap forward within the last years and I want to be a part of the next step.”

Hulkenberg is not trying to hide the fact that he would rather be racing next season, but still feels that he can bring a lot to his new role, thanks to the experience he built up last season.

“Last year was very important for me,” said the man who claimed pole position at the Brazilian Grand Prix in November. “I could gain lots of experience and had a good team-mate (Rubens Barrichello). I learned a lot from him on how to help developing a car in the right direction. I’m bringing a high level of motivation and will give my very best to be helpful for the team.”

“Of course I’d rather be a race driver, but the most important is that I stay within the F1 circus. Every driver wants to compete in races – that is what we are all driving for. But my motivation is to convince the team of my skills in order to be back in a race cockpit in 2012.”

The German has already been to meet his new team and had a seat-fitting at the factory. He will be doing some driving at the pre-season tests that begin next week along with race drivers Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta, about both of whom Hulkenberg had positive comments.

“These are two great guys,” he said. “Adrian and I were direct competitors last year, I like him personally. Also Paul is a sympathetic guy and had a very successful career so far, he could bring some surprises to the team.”

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