Kimi Raikkonen is not the key to the driver market, reckons Nico Hulkenberg, who believes he can secure his Formula 1 future without waiting to see where the 2007 world champion ends up.
While Raikkonen is at the centre of 2014 driver move speculation - even if, as AUTOSPORT revealed on Wednesday, staying put at Lotus is his favoured option - the highly-rated Hulkenberg is one of the hottest properties available.
Currently at Sauber, Hulkenberg has been linked to both Ferrari and Lotus and has not ruled out staying with his current team.
Asked by AUTOSPORT if he was having to wait for Raikkonen before he could make progress on a 2014 deal, Hulkenberg replied: "Not necessarily.
"Obviously Kimi is playing a role there but it is not necessarily depending all on him."
Hulkenberg acknowledged that Ferrari would be an extremely attractive option if it chose to drop Felipe Massa.
"It's a good team, one of the top teams, and if you get the chance you will probably do it," said the German.
"But at this point we are still looking at the options for what we can do, where to position ourselves."
He said his preference was to resolve his situation within the next month.
"There is always what you want and what is happening and they are sometimes not the same," Hulkenberg said.
"I want to make a decision when I feel I have made the right choice and when I am happy with everything involving the deal.
"We would ideally like to have it done by the end of September."