Japanese GP: Nico Hulkenberg's future not confirmed yet

Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg refused to confirm he has agreed to join another team next season, following his sixth-placed finish in the Japanese GP.

Speculation was that the German had already signed a contract, with BBC Sport's Eddie Jordan believing it would be a return to Force India.

Japanese GP stats

  • Track temperature: 30C
  • Air temperature: 23C
  • Ave wind speed: 6.6 metres per second
  • Humidity: 40%
  • Fastest lap: M Webber 1 min 34.587 secs
  • Fastest speeds:
  • Sector 1: M Webber 282kph (175mph)
  • Sector 2: D Ricciardo 315kph (196mph)
  • Sector 3: M Webber 273kph (170mph)
  • Speed Trap: M Webber 308kph (191mph)

Although other sources say he is more likely to go to Lotus.

"There is nothing to tell, my future will sort itself in the next couple of weeks," said the 26-year-old.

Meanwhile, team-mate Esteban Gutierrez secured his first points in Formula 1.

The Mexican, who made his debut in Australia in March, finished in seventh place, ahead of Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button and Felipe Massa, to take six points.

"Finally we can feel great satisfaction after the race," said the 22-year-old.

"I said we needed to stay optimistic and this is proof. It was a great race and a good job done today.

"I like to be fair and competitive and at the same time aggressive and you need to balance all three.

"It is about racing and not screwing someone else's race. That is the way I have always tried to race and it is nice to have a positive result."

Hulkenberg, whose Sauber deal runs out at the end of the season, has been attracting attention from other teams after a string of strong performances.

The German finished 20 seconds ahead of his team-mate to move up to 10th in the drivers' standings.

Max Chilton's 19th place finish was also a reason to celebrate for the British driver.

Williams duo fight at final corner

There were no points to play for but following Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton's retirement, the Marussia driver is now the only one to finish every race so far this season.

"Generally this has been a really positive weekend for me and one where we've made all the right moves," he said.

"It was great to qualify ahead of my three nearest competitors for the first time yesterday and today I held position for most of the race, so it was pretty disappointing to lose out just a few laps from the end.

"The car is a lot stronger and we are in a good place for the fight with the Caterhams."

Elsewhere, Nico Rosberg was less than impressed with McLaren's Sergio Perez, after he had to settle for eighth place.

The Mercedes driver clashed twice with Perez and was handed a drive-through penalty after the pair almost collided in the pit-lane in the first of the two incidents.

"It was a good start and I was very comfortable but I just got it stuck on the pit-stop and from then on it was difficult after the drive-through," said Rosberg.

Past winners in Japan

  • 2012 Sebastian Vettel -Red Bull
  • 2011 Jenson Button - McLaren
  • 2010 Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull
  • 2009 Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull
  • 2008 Fernando Alonso - Renault

"It was enjoyable at times and then with Perez, it's not good what he's doing, we know he has issues. If you move once to block you have to move out of the way, the rules are clear.

"It was very good he punctured his tyre and then it was just onward from there."

Perez, who finished 15th, added: "It was a very unfortunate afternoon for us.

"I had such bad luck - things just didn't go our way. In fact, I think you could say that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

"We had an incident with Nico in the pit-lane, some of slow pit-stops, and then another incident with Nico, which caused me to suffer a puncture - luckily, however, right at the entrance of the pit-lane."