If you’re thinking of buying someone an F1 drive for Xmas, better hurry up, they’re going quicker than PlayStation 4s. A quick phone around Asda, Tesco and John Lewis tells us there are but six seats left for next year and two of them might already have names on. They must have pre-ordered.
This week the terrible and predictable final act of the Nico Hulkenberg tragedy was played out when he re-signed for Force India, the team he left behind for Sauber at the end of the 2012 season after just one year.
The low-key announcement was made from the bright lights of an industrial unit near Silverstone yesterday. It fitted the bitter-sweet mood of the news; Hulk showed the world he deserved to be in a winning chassis next year — a Lotus E22 would have suited — but it was announced last week that Pastor Maldonado will be driving the remaining available Lotus alongside Romain Grosjean.
Time will tell whether Nico’s taken a step forward, backwards or merely sideways. One thing is certain, he will take any chance he can to put his VJM07 ahead of Maldonado’s Lotus. This is the second time he’s been shafted by Pastor’s Venezuelan bag of swag. Nico lost his first F1 race seat with Williams to Maldonado in 2011, just days after having put the FW32 on pole for the Brazilian Grand Prix. He really must wonder what he has to do.
Although not confirmed, it looks like Hulk’s team-mate in 2014 will be Sergio Perez. TG is happy about that — Checo deserved better than to be cast as the scapegoat for McLaren’s washout of a season. So with Jules Bianchi already signed at Marussia that just leaves the two Sauber and the two Caterham seats available alongside the unconfirmed Force India and Marussia seats. Then again it looks like Grahame Chilton might already have bagged that one for little Max. We bet he gets a PS4 too. And an Xbox One.