Hulkenberg Turned Down Offer from Virgin

Nico Hulkenberg was offered the opportunity to drive for Marussia Virgin Racing recently, but he and manager Willi Weber decided to turn it down. According to Weber, the 2009 GP2 champion would be better off taking a Friday driver role with a mid-pack F1 team rather than start 20 races with an underachieving squad.

For someone like Nico, with a season already behind him, there is little to learn from a small team,” Weber argued his decision to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. “There was an offer from Virgin which was very pleasing, but with another German in Timo Glock, who has been there for a while already, the risk was too great.

We have been thinking: shall we pause for a year?” continued Hulkenberg's manager. “But in today's world you are too quickly forgotten. So I think it is better for Nico to still have a presence with a good team where at least he can practice on the Fridays. That is the ideal alternative for him.”

According to recent rumors, most of them started by Swiss newspaper Blick, Hulkenberg will likely drive during the Friday practice sessions throughout the 2011 season for Force India. However, Weber avoided to make any comments on this topic, leaving the suspense up until Vijay Mallya's team will decide to confirm its lineup for next season.

Before anything is said officially, I can't say anything myself,” added Weber, while also sending an alarm signal to the F1 world regarding pay drivers.

F1 needs to be careful about creating a two-class society, with 14 real drivers and ten pay-drivers. In that way, I refuse to pay for a cockpit for Nico. If you do it once, you will always be needing to bring money, and more and more. Very quickly, this becomes your image. Rather, I want to sell performance. This boy is too good to be paying to drive.”
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