Force India: Hulkenberg move may be step backward

Force India’s Bob Fernley believes that Nico Hulkenberg’s departure for Sauber in 2013 may be premature. Bob is a very sharp guy and it was a pleasure to interview him at our Austin GP event. His knowledge of racing is immense and he’s be at this for some time now. Is his assessment correct? It very well could be.

Fernley told AUTOSPORT:

“If you look at the stats since the summer break, the Force India car was clearly the fifth best performing.

“We’re still quite a distance off the top four, but since the summer break we’ve forged ahead of all the others.”

Force India really did put a major push at the end of the 2012 season. Sauber, by contrast, seemed to drift but it’s unclear if that was the mental check-out by Sergio Perez as he dreamed of his upcoming McLaren days or not.

I asked Fernley how the technical relationship with McLaren would impact the 2013 season and he said that it was crucial and the regulation stability will play into the teams hands even more. A notion shared by many of the teams in the paddock.

I don’t want to take away from Sauber’s progress either and they have as good of a chance of gaining ground in 2013 as anyone else. In fact, with Hulkenberg, they may be even better. No doubt the departure stings and by the comments made from the team, it’s clear they were really impressed with Nico and would have liked to have kept him.

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