Nico Hulkenberg has slammed as “rubbish” rumours the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend would be his last for Sauber.
Social media networks were in overdrive yesterday with suggestions Hulkenberg was on his way out of the team,
It was based on recent claims Hulkenberg has not been paid by Sauber for some time given their recent financial woes.
That was allied to the fact reserve Robin Frijns yesterday lost his drive with the Hilmer GP2 squad, albeit with the 21-year-old Dutchman conceding he had run out of money.
That, however, did not stop the furious speculation ahead of Sunday’s race at the Hungaroring, the last prior to Formula One’s summer shutdown.
In response, Hulkenberg said: “It’s rubbish!
“When I read it, it made me laugh, made me smile.
“I read it on my Twitter page where people can write to me. A bunch of people were having a discussion and I was thinking ’Where has that come from?”’
Hulkenberg refused, though, to deny whether he had finally picked up a pay packet, adding “They are contractual details which I don’t want to talk about.”
But the 25-year-old German has no doubt he will see out the year with the Swiss-based team, although beyond this year is another matter.
“I don’t know at the moment. I’m looking at all my options, but I haven’t decided yet or done anything,” added Hulkenberg.
“Making a decision is a bit further down the line, but I’m talking to people, including Sauber, but nothing has been decided.”
That is mainly due to the fact Sauber early last week announced the fast-tracking of 17-year-old Russian Sergey Sirotkin.
Although without the necessary superlicence required to compete in F1, Sirotkin’s rapid promotion from the Formula Renault 3.5 Series comes courtesy of father Oleg who runs one of the trio of Russian companies that has helped save the Swiss-based marque.
“The investment is definitely good news, positive news,” said Hulkenberg.
“Fresh support, strong partners, and especially cash which as we know is very powerful and important in Formula One to move forward and develop. It’s a good sign.
“I don’t know all the details, you will have to ask the management or Monisha (team principal Kaltenborn), but as far as I’ve been told, and am concerned, it is good.
“As for Sergey, I don’t think he affects my future.
“I know when I was his age I wasn’t ready for Formula One. It is ambitious, maybe a bit risky, but it’s not my decision.”