Hinwil – The 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix was one of the highlights of Nico Hülkenberg’s F1 career so far. The German was in the mix for the race win and came close to staging a major coup.
For 30 laps of the Sao Paulo track he majestically, spectacularly fought off all-comers to maintain his lead, eventually crowning his 2012 season with a well deserved fifth place and 11th in the final drivers’ standings.
Indeed, top performances from Hülkenberg have long since lost their surprise factor and now he’s preparing for a new challenge going into the 2013 season after signing for the Sauber F1 Team.
How did the winter preparations go? "Very good. It was the ideal combination of a 2-week training camp and intensive fitness training."
What are your expectations of the Sauber F1 Team? "We need to build on the solid basis of last year and reach some good results. But it is a whole new season: New game, new luck! We really have to wait and see what happens when we hit the track for the first time. And then we’ll take it from there."
Do you appreciate the close relationships the Sauber F1 Team nurtures with its fans? "Fans are an essential part of sport in general. If you receive so much fan mail, it does touch you personally. I am really trying to answer everything."
Tests involve a lot of hard graft. How do you prepare yourself? "Physical fitness and intensive work with the engineers. But actually I am just looking forward to finally sitting in the car."
How long does it actually take to adjust to a new car? "It is a mix of different factors. It takes a couple of days until every detail is right. Usually the adjustment process is completed when the first race is about to start."
How well do you actually know your team-mate? "We have not got to know each other very well so far, but we met in the paddock every now and then and I value him as a team mate."
What will be the greatest (sporting) challenge of the upcoming season? "To show a consistent good performance at every single race."
Sauber F1 Team