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Lotus moguls say team wants Hulk

2013-11-06 08:43

LOTUS POSITION? Quatum Motorsports, Lotus F1 team's new investors, are adament to sign Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg as Kimi Raikkonen's replacement for 2014. Image: AFP

ABU DHABI, UAE - Lotus is poised to recruit Nico Hulkenberg to replace Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikikonen for 2014, according to the head of the team's new investors.

Mansoor Ijaz, head of Quantum Motorsports, a consortium that has reportedly agreed to buy a 35% stake in Lotus from Genii Capital said: "As the incoming owners and shareholders, we have made it clear what our preference is. I wish the transition had been smoother between Kimi and the next driver - who we believe will be Nico - but sometimes in life things don't' happen so clearly, or as nicely, as you want."

SET IN STONE


Ijaz added that a contract for Hulkenberg had been drawn up and prepared and said that the German driver was excited about the move. Hulkenberg is currently with Sauber. Ijaz told autosport.com that the deal was set to go through.

Ijaz said: "I can tell you the contract is prepared and ready to go. I know Nico is excited about doing this and I think it is a short matter of time before that is all finalised. Nico (Hulkenberg) is a man well within himself. He is an up-and-coming driver.

"He has a fairly long career span ahead of him. In every sport the athlete has a fixed life span and if he has five or seven years left in him, that is enough for him to rise to the very top of the pack with a good car, good technology and a strong team behind him."

Hulkenberg was 14th in Sunday's 2013 Abu Dhabi GP and was lapped by triumphant compatriot and newly quadruple F1 champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.

Raikkonen, in a dispute with Lotus over unpaid wages of more than the equivalent of R206-million, arrived late and departed early. He started from the pits lane and retired at the first corner after a collision.
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