Porsche have announced that Nico Hulkenberg will be one of the 3 drivers to get behind the wheel of Porsche’s third 919 LMP1 car at Le Mans and Spa-Francorchamps in 2015.
The 27 year old German has been driving in Formula One since 2012, with one year previous in 2010 also in Formula One. Nico has missed out on several top drives in the top single seater formula in recent years, after being linked with teams such as McLaren and Ferrari. Hulkenberg is set to return to return in Formula One next season at his 2012 and 2014 team, SAHRA Force India, as well as driving in the third car for Porsche at Le Mans and the 6 Hours of Spa. Spa will not be Hulkenbergs first encounter with Porsche. He tested the 911 GT3 R Hybrid at the Nordshleife circuit in 2010.
When asked about the decision to take on the Porsche project next year, Hulkenberg said “Porsche and Le Mans – this combination probably attracts every race driver. I’ve been a Porsche fan for a long time and have been watching their return to the LMP1 class closely. The desire grew to drive that car at Le Mans. I am very pleased the 2015 Formula One calendar allows for it and I’m grateful to my Sahara Force India Formula One Team’s generosity to let me go for it. Now it’s up to me to work hard to satisfy both commitments.
Porsche Team Principal, Andreas Seidl went on to say: “Having caught the interest of another world class driver like Nico is validation for the job the entire Porsche LMP1 crew had done in our first WEC season. Now we will prepare Nico for his new challenges such as dealing with the traffic of the slower GT cars and racing into the Le Mans night. We have got a road map in place which should enable him to exploit his driving abilities at his Le Mans debut. We’re looking forward to working with Nico and we want to thank the Sahara Force India F1 Team and team principal Vijay Mallya for loaning him to us.”
With yet another familiar name from Formula 1 entry joining the sports car scene in 2015, the great endurance race is set to be reminiscent of the Group C days when it was common practice for F1 drivers to appear at Le Mans each year. Several questions however still remain. Who will be the other 2 drivers to race alongside Nico Hulkenberg and will Nico be able to replicate what Andre Lotterer achieved this year, winning at Le Mans and competing in Formula One in the same season?
Source – Porsche Press Material