The German driver – until the appearance of Sebastian Vettel on the F1 stage, he was considered the next Michael Schumacher – is currently test and reserve driver for Williams F1 Team, while also preparing for his maiden full-time campaign in Formula 1's feeder series, the GP2 championship.
“Nico was in a training camp for four weeks to prepare for this GP2 season. I am convinced that in 2010 we will see him in Formula One,” the 67-year old manager was quoted as saying to the German media.
Hulkenberg was signed as a test driver by Frank Williams before the 2008 season, as he got to experience driving in a Formula One cockpit for the majority of last year. Due to the in-season testing ban for 2009, his testing days with the Grove based outfit were limited to winter sessions, during which he performed wonderfully.
“Despite his age, Nico is immediately fast and clear in his head with each test lap,” confirmed Williams' technical head Sam Michael in an interview with German magazine Sport Bild.
Hulkenberg first caught the public eye while driving for A1 Team Germany in the A1 GP World Cup of Motorsport (2006/2007). He is currently reigning champion of the F3 Euroseries and has already debuted in the GP2 Asian Series earlier this year, winning the feature race at Losail for ART Grand Prix.
Weber did not mention, however, at what team Hulkenberg is expected to make his debut. Should it be Williams, one of team's drivers – Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima – will have to move elsewhere. The contracts of both drivers expire at the end of 2009.