Huelkenberg concentrating on job in hand

Huelkenberg concentrating on job in hand
From left: Nico Huelkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber F1 drivers, at the Marina Mandarin Hotel for the NEC’s Meet the Sauber F1 Team Networking Party.

His name has been bandied about by the worldwide media in recent weeks, which is a testament to his rising star.

But as talk swirls about Nico Huelkenberg's future, the German driver insists he is 100 per cent focused on his job with the Sauber Formula One team.

Asked yesterday if his head is being turned by all the talk about a move to a higher profile team, Huelkenberg, who is widely regarded as the standout performer in midfield for several years, replied: "Not at all. It's not the first time I've been in a situation like this.

"I've had it previously and the minute I go into a meeting with engineers or I sit in the car, the focus is 100 per cent on what I have to do, and the driving."

The 26-year-old, in town for the Formula One SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, was speaking on the sidelines of NEC's Meet the Sauber F1 Team Networking Party at Marina Mandarin yesterday.

Huelkenberg had been one of three contenders tipped to replace the retiring Mark Webber at world champions Red Bull.

But the Austrian team plumped for a driver from their in-house programme, Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso, instead.

A week later, Ferrari announced that 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen was returning to the fold, leaving a gaping hole at Lotus.

Now, Huelkenberg is reportedly up against Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who will be replaced by Raikkonen at the Scuderia, for the chance to represent one of the sport's more fabled brands. To his credit, despite the potential for distraction, he has kept his head down and even produced a superb performance at the Italian Grand Prix the weekend before last, qualifying third and finishing fifth - behind only the Red Bulls and Ferraris.

He explained: "Outside the car of course you think of the future and you are having conversations, but the minute you are at the race track, the focus is back to where it needs to be."

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