Even though Nico Hulkenberg has not scored a podium finish in his three seasons as a Formula 1 race driver - technically four but the second was spent as a reserve driver - there are few in F1 who believe that he doesn't deserve to do so.
The 26-year-old German is just over two months younger than compatriot and reigning four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, but as yet has no wins, podiums or titles to show for his obvious talent.
Hulkenberg came into F1 after having dominated the 2006-2007 A1 Grand Prix season to win the title and then win four races in his rookie Formula 3 Euroseries season to take third in the points table. He followed it up by winning the F3 Euroseries title in his second year in dominant fashion before winning the GP2 Series title on his first attempt in 2009.
And just to prove that he wasn't some junior formula hot shot who couldn't cut it in F1, he scored seven points finishes in his debut season in 2010 with Williams F1; a team far from the title contenders they had been during their partnership with BMW. This included a famous pole position in the rain hit qualifying session for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
And yet, Hulkenberg's career path seems to have kept him in the midfield despite impressively getting the better of Paul Di Resta at Force India in 2012 and single-handedly helping Sauber finish the 2013 season with a modicum of respectability after a sorry first half to the season.
In returning to Force India from 2014 in a multi-year deal Hulkenberg told reporters in a telephonic press conference that he was being 'realistic' about spending yet another year in the F1 midfield after a much talked about deal with Lotus F1 didn't pan out.
"I knew for about two weeks before I decided to go with Force India that the Lotus deal was not going to work out," said Hulkenberg. "I would rather think about that or ask questions about that and just focus on next season."
Hulkenberg stayed pragmatic when he was asked if F1 was in a crisis given that accomplished drivers like him and former Suaber F1 reserve driver Robin Frijns could not find a seat in a race-winning team like Lotus (Pastor Maldonado has been signed as Lotus' 2014 race driver).
"There have always been drivers in F1 who bring some financial rewards to a team," said Hulkenberg. "Maybe there are more in these lean times but it is what it is."
However, the German believed he had found a good set up at Force India given that engine supplier Mercedes is set to increase its involvement with the team beyond supply of the new power units. Force India is set to receive the same hydraulics, gearbox and other mechanical components as the works Mercedes AMG F1 team.
He didn't see his departure from Sauber - with whom he scored 44 of his 51 points in 2013 over the last eight races of the season - as a cause for concern.
"You can't use 2013 as an indication for 2014 due to the completely new regulations," said Hulkenberg. "Everything is different and we will all be trying to figure out how to get the best out of the new rules."