MAY 2, 2007
How to promote your driver
There is no doubt that 19-year-old German Nico Hulkenberg is a decent prospect for the future. He has impressed this year in the A1 Grand Prix Series, although the opposition has been at best patchy, but it was still a decent achievement in just his third year of car racing. In the first season he dominated in German Formula BMW but he was less than impressive last year in the German F3 series in which he was fifth (and the third best rookie). This year, however, much is expected of him as he races with the dominant ASM team in the Formula 3 Euroseries. Thus far there have been just two races in which he has finished second and seventh.
Hulkenberg's biggest advantage is that he is managed by A1 Team Germany' owner Willi Weber, who is best known for his work with Michael Schumacher. Weber pulled a suitable stunt this week by having Schumacher turn up at the A1 GP Awards Dinner in London to present Hulkenberg with a trophy and make suitable remarks about the rising German star.
One wonders if Michael would have been there if the title had been won by Team Pakistan.
When all is said and done, however, Hulkenberg will have to prove his worth on the race track as column inches may help the world know about the youngster but it does not push his name up the timesheets.
A1 Grand Prix was no doubt delighted with Weber's stunt as it reflected well on the championship although some others may not have been as impressed. Autosport magazine, for example, has been trying to get Michael to attend its Awards for many years and might feel a little aggrieved by it all.
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