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What of the anonymous Hulk? // A quiet German, with a big podcast personality

Published by Christine

Recently, I've been catching up on some of the team podcasts for the current season. Mr C hates it when I listen to old stuff, but sometimes it's worthwhile and you catch things that you might have missed if you were frantically listening up to date. I have nothing earth-shattering today, but as I was listening to the AT&T Williams podcast, a general impression washed over me.

Intense focus from Hülkenberg in Hungary.
Credit: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic

Nico Hülkenberg comes across really, very well. He seems to get on with Rubens, and during the quizzes featured on the podcast, they have some good banter and a friendly rivalry. He generally seems a nice, team-focused chap. I don't know why this is a revelation to me. He did pretty well in our recent Character Cup and if Petrov hadn't been surprisingly popular, he might have made it to the semi-finals.

I gave it some thought and realised that, whilst the Hulk has been quite anonymous on the 2010 grid, it's not really his fault. In previous years, we spent plenty of time analysing the rookies - who they are and what they've done. Then we would watch them, particularly in the first few races, and see who was the best. There would be half-term reports and teammate analysis and plenty of features on the BBC.

This year, though, things are different, and I blame the new teams. All the fun is being had watching HRT fail, Virgin Racing struggle, and Lotus gradually improve. They have a mix of rookie drivers and experienced F1 guys, but that isn't important, it's about the new teams and how they're doing. We even have RG's excellent New Team Championship going on.

With that, though, comes the overshadowing of the rookie drivers. I have to think for that extra second over who is new down the field, and it takes a second thought to separate the newbies from the regular drivers in those three brand new teams. They've mixed things up a bit, and I like it. I wonder if it doesn't have an effect on the other guys though.

I've already mentioned how Lucas di Grassi is not really making much of a case for himself at the moment, but he certainly seems to have a higher profile than Petrov right now. Is that because Petrov is quiet, or is it because di Grassi is in a loud, proud, new team?

I also find it super easy to forget that this is Alguersuari's first full season. He completed just half the races in 2009, so an equal half of these tracks are brand new to him. I wonder if that would have been a bigger deal if we didn't have the continuing battle over drivers at Hispania, or one eye on the Trulliometer now he's at Lotus.

So, what do you think? How is The Hulk doing so far in 2010, or had you forgotten he was there as well? Are the new teams overshadowing new drivers, and is that necessarily a bad thing?