Sahara Force India Formula One driver Nico Hülkenberg is officially part of the Porsche factory team for next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans; the last time a current F1 driver got permission from his team to compete in the world's biggest endurance race was in 2009 when Toro Rosso let Sébastien Bourdais pilot for Peugeot.
The end of qualifying for the 2013 Korean Formula One Grand Prix left us with five pairs: two chassis each from Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Mercedes-AMG Petronas, Lotus, Ferrari and Sauber. Yes, Sauber. The last time the Swiss team had two drivers in the top ten was Japan last year, when Kamui Kobayashi converted the grid spot into a podium.
Now that the 2011 season is behind us, Formula One is focusing on the year ahead. So far, the top teams are keeping their talents in place: Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will continue at Red Bull Racing, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will take another crack at McLaren, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will soldier on at Scuderia Ferrari, and Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will stick it out another season at what's now begin called the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team.
It's a tough business, being an F1 driver. It's one of the most coveted, competitive jobs in the world. Every year there's a crop of new youngsters vying for race seats, and there's only so many to go around. Nico Hulkenberg found that out the hard way when he lost his seat at Williams to newcomer Pastor Maldonado. Vitantonio Liuzzi is no stranger to the phenomenon either.
How the mighty have fallen. The saying could apply to none better than it does to Williams, the F1 team that was once at the pinnacle of grand prix racing but has long since fallen to the bottom. One driver managed to bring them back to the top this season – if only briefly – but the team has elected to let him go for next season.