November 6, 2010. Nico Hulkenberg turns in the lap of the season in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix. On slicks on a drying track, having already posted one lap that would prove good enough for pole position, he sets a time more than a second faster than Sebastian Vettel.
It was Williams's first pole for over five years and proof, if any were needed, that the stellar reputation the young German brought into F1 was justified.
November 14, 2010. After outscoring his veteran team-mate Rubens Barrichello 20 points to 18 in the final eight races of the season, Hulkenberg sits on a bench in the middle of the Yas Marina paddock less than two hours after the end of the season finale and is told by Williams chairman Adam Parr that he is out. A victim of financial circumstances, Williams needs an influx of money and it isn't long before GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado - a worthy F1 driver but one whom Hulkenberg comfortably beat when they were team-mates in 2009 - signed up to take his place.
The 23-year-old German received the news too late to find the race seat that his talents deserve, so is now keeping himself F1 sharp with outings in Friday's first free practice session as Force India's reserve driver.