Now that Sergio Perez is set to moving to Mclaren next year, Sauber are left with a void – apparently Kobayashi is also in a spot of bother as well, as his sponsor backing seems inadequate for the Swiss-based private outfit. Kobayashi proved his ability to finish on podium at his home race in Japan while also admitting that he couldn’t raise funding from Japanese sponsors to stay put with Sauber or any team for that matter.
The only Japanese driver on the grid is highly unlikely to compete in fourth straight season running despite known for being a fierce fighter in the mid-pack. Nico Hulkenberg has penned down a contract amidst enjoying a successful season. Ferrari’s tie-up with Sauber played an immense part in it as they will be in a situation to seek a new driver for 2014.
The German has been a standout with some stunning maneuvers on race days. There is little to choose between the Force India drivers on Sundays in terms of earning points but it is Hulk having the upper hand in qualifying on races since Monaco. He has also shown some great pace on wet sessions especially in British and German GP.
He said before that the team has the goal of attaining sixth in the constructors’ race which means they have to beat Sauber now. Force India haven’t achieved any podiums in 2012 in comparison to Sauber’s four and Vijay Mallya is encountering a very tough time back home. Despite Sauber being uncertain on financial terms, they are a bit steady compared to Force India.
Hulkenberg has a future to look forward with the likes of Ferrari if he opts for Sauber. The GP2 series runner-up Esteban Gutierrez has had some stormy drives lately and will pick where Perez left off with communication giant Telmex as his backer. He is tipped as a potential driver; if not, then he may well be placed for a reserve role.
Current Marussia driver Charles Pic is also looking for a step up the ladder but remains to be retained by his Russian outfit despite being a free agent for 2013. The ousted Toro Rosso driver Jaime Alguersuari, who vows to be on the paddock next season and the Redbull reserve Sebastien Buemi have also been thought to be in the mix. Former Force India driver Adrian Sutil has also been in for it as well.