Formula One: Huelkenberg denies strike threat over wages but admits issue

Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg of Germany poses during a photo shoot ahead of the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 13, 2014. Nico Huelkenberg on Thursday, April 17, 2014, denied reports that Formula One drivers were th
Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg of Germany poses during a photo shoot ahead of the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 13, 2014. Nico Huelkenberg on Thursday, April 17, 2014, denied reports that Formula One drivers were threatening to go on strike over unpaid salaries, but he called for quick action to resolve the problem. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (AFP) - Nico Huelkenberg on Thursday denied reports that Formula One drivers were threatening to go on strike over unpaid salaries, but he called for quick action to resolve the problem.

The German said it was "not good for the sport" that drivers were kept waiting for their wages and said discussions were under way to find a solution.

Germany's Sport Bild magazine claimed this week that several drivers for smaller teams, including Huelkenberg, who drove for Sauber last year, were still owed unpaid wages dating back to 2013. It reported that the drivers' union, the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, had signed a document vowing to strike if the situation continued.

Huelkenberg, third in the drivers' standings with Force India after three races, was asked about a possible strike at the Chinese Grand Prix on Thursday and said firmly: "No, that is not true."

He admitted, however, that unpaid wages were an issue for all the drivers.

"We are discussing that issue at the moment regarding unpaid drivers and it is something that is not good for the sport - the pinnacle of motor racing," said Huelkenberg.

"We have never discussed doing a strike but we want the issue to be addressed. And we want it to be improved."

He acknowledged that with some teams struggling for cash, especially with the raft of technical changes brought in this season, it was difficult to know what action the drivers could take.

"I don't know," he said. "We all need to stick our heads together and see if we can come up with a solution."

Last year, former world champion Kimi Raikkonen complained that he was owed money by then employer Lotus, citing it as the reason for quitting to rejoin Italian team Ferrari, with whom he won the drivers' title in 2007.

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