Mark Webber says Nico Hulkenberg is deserving of a top F1 drive as the German prepares to make his Le Mans debut.
Hulkenberg will drive the third Porsche 919 entry in tomorrow’s 24 hour race, starting from third on the grid behind the pole-sitting #18 and Webber’s #17 car in a Porsche 1-2-3. With Webber having moved across to Porsche full-time at the end of his F1 career ahead of the 2014 season, the former Red Bull driver says he is “absolutely loving” being able to work so closely with the likes of Force India driver Hulkenberg and others within the Porsche project.
Asked by F1i if he has been giving Hulkenberg any advice ahead of Le Mans, Webber replied: “Of course.
“He was surprised I think at the first test when I was trying to help him on certain things. He was like ‘What the hell? Maybe he’s trying to stitch me up here, what’s going on?’
“That’s a different environment altogether, and also he’s still pretty young, so he’s in a window of his life when he’s got maybe a career opening. Who knows what’s happening in F1 because it’s obviously not that easy for him at the moment in terms of options for drives.
“He thoroughly deserves a chance in F1 to have a top seat, but there’s not that many around. So I think he’s enjoyed the challenge of the new series and how much you have to push, how much you have to really deliver yourself on lap times and the consistency. The camaraderie between the drivers, in terms of on our car in every detail we are trying to help each other on everything, and that’s really rewarding.
“At 25 do I want to do this? Probably not, but at 38, 39 I’m loving it. Absolutely loving it. It’s really, really good. It’s great that I can help him at points but also it’s going to help the whole project.”
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