Hulkenberg ready to lead Sauber

Nico Hulkenberg feels ready to be the leading driver at the Sauber team next year, in what will be his third full season of racing in F1.

The 2009 GP2 champion will join the Swiss squad from Force India after two years with the Silverstone-based team, one of them acting as a reserve driver.

Hulkenberg will partner Esteban Gutierrez at Sauber, the Mexican making his grand prix debut with the team.

Hulkenberg says he feels no extra pressure from being the most experienced of Sauber's 2013 line-up.

"I feel ready for that," Hulkenberg told the official F1 website. "It's not a case of bringing extra pressure, it's something that helps motivate me even more, but to be honest I don't see my role as much different to the one I was in this year.

"I will simply concentrate on my job of trying to deliver good results."

The 25-year-old enjoyed a strong second half of the 2012 season and even led the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Despite switching teams next year, Hulkenberg believes he will be able to keep his momentum going.

"Yes, that is the goal. As you say, there is no warm-up phase anymore, so I personally hope that I start performing right at the point where I finished at the end of 2012 - and that was a very promising point.

"I am changing teams so there will be a 'getting to know each other' phase but I am confident that this will go smoothly."