Hulkenberg evaluating his options amid Ferrari link

Nico Hulkenberg says he would be foolish not to evaluate his options in the driver market, amid mounting suggestions he is on the short list of Ferrari candidates for 2016.

The German, whose profile has been boosted by victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours this year, is believed to be under consideration for a switch to Maranello next year if the outfit decides to replace Kimi Raikkonen.

The situation remains fluid at the moment, though, with Ferrari understood to also be in discussions with Williams about sorting a financial deal that could allow it to get hold of Valtteri Bottas.

Ferrari is also believed to be interested in Daniel Ricciardo, but the Australian has a firm contract with Red Bull for another three years that would make it very difficult to get out of.

Checking options

Hulkenberg insists that he is not getting distracted by the possibility of a Ferrari switch, having come close to such a deal two years ago, but admits that he is looking carefully at what he can do in 2016.

When asked if he was looking to stay at Force India or moving on, Hulkenberg said: "It depends what is on offer…

"Of course, you check the options, you check the market and what is available or what could become available. It would be silly not to do so."

He also knows that, with no final decision made by Ferrari on Raikkonen, and the Bottas situation undecided, some factors that could influence a switch to Maranello are not in his hands.

"I feel comfortable," he said. "I think the most important thing for me is to keep performing, to reach 100 per cent my maximum each weekend. That is the best I can do and the other things will fall into place anyway.

"It is all not fully in my hands and control, there are other things and factors that play into there as well. It is still early days. I am happy and comfortable where I am, I will keep fighting and working away."

Flavour of the month

Hulkenberg is clear that the fresh Ferrari speculation does not alter his mindset.

"It is usual...you do two good races and that is what happens!" he explained. "It doesn't appeal or touch me very much, I've had that before.

"It doesn't say much at the moment. I am focused on the current situation especially now, with this weekend and with this package, we have to focus to get the best out of this."

However, Hulkenberg is aware of the golden opportunity he has for his career right now on the back of Le Mans success.

"It has just been three really good weeks, a lot of positive things that happened," he said. "I had some time after Austria to digest them and had some time to breathe after a race weekend at home.

"It is just positive and I have a good momentum at the moment and will try to keep it up."

Hulkenberg is also understood to be the main target for the new Haas team, which is forming a close technical partnership with Ferrari for next year.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event British GP
Track Silverstone
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg
Teams Force India
Article type Breaking news