Nico Hulkenberg led the Brazilian Grand Prix and wants to continue his strong form at the end of 2012 in to the new season © Sutton Images
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Nico Hulkenberg says he is ready to lead Sauber alongside rookie Esteban Gutierrez next season.

After an impressive year at Force India, Hulkenberg is moving to Sauber in 2013 as a replacement for Sergio Perez. In order to maintain the links with major sponsors such as Telmex, Sauber has replaced Kamui Kobayashi with Gutierrez - who has only one Friday practice appearance to his name - and Hulkenberg says he is fully prepared to be the team leader.

"Yes, I feel ready for that," Hulkenberg told the official Formula One 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."

Hulkenberg also said that he wants to build on his strong finish to 2012 and take that momentum in to next season having finished fifth in Brazil after leading for part of the race.

"Yes, that is the goal. 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."

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