Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg is to leave them team for Sauber, or so BBC’s Andrew Benson believes.
The BBC’s Chief F1 writer also believes that Esteban Gutierrez who currently acts as the team’s reserve driver will step in as his team-mate, leaving Kamui Kobayashi without a drive in 2013. However, Both 2011 Toro Rosso drivers, Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastian Buemi are expected to be fighting for a seat at the team aswell as Adrian Sutil after he was dropped by Force India following on from a conviction in January of grievous bodily harm against Lotus group CEO Eric Lux.
Sauber’s rising star, Sergio Perez, has already been snatched up by McLaren after they lost their own star, Lewis Hamilton, to Mercedes.
According to Benson, “Sauber have not yet officially confirmed Hulkenberg but the deal is understood already to be done.”
If Sauber were to hire Esteban Gutierrez, it would enable them to feed off billionaire Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in the world who already has a connection with Sauber and is happy to sponsor Mexican drivers.
It’s believed that if Alguersuari, Buemi and Sutil fail to make the grade at either Force India or Sauber, they will probably be knocking on Caterham’s door where Giedo van der Garde has been lined up to take Vitaly Petrov’s seat for 2013, especially since the Russian lost his government funding and no longer has a sponsor.
Sauber’s new team-principal Monisha Kaltenborn said that their 2013 driver pairing would be announced before the end of the 2012 season.