Hulkenberg tipped for Renault switch

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Nico Hulkenberg is the latest driver to be linked to a move to Renault in 2017.

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Max Verstappen’s driving was a talking point again after yesterday’s race:

I’m glad Mercedes withdrew the protest because in my view this was just hard racing. I’m aware that moving in the braking zones can potentially be very dangerous but I think that Verstappen made his move early enough and Hamilton was left with enough time to react to his move.

I personally think that Verstappen’s defending and driving in general has been a breath of fresh air in F1. I was getting really tired of drivers moving out of the way every time a driver with fresher tires/faster car was trying to overtake them. Verstappen is not one of those drivers, he’s always determined to make the other driver’s job as hard as possible. Although some of his moves were questionable, like those in Spa or Hungary, most of the time it’s just hard racing and i feel that F1 has been missing that for some time.
Pikashi (@Kashi13)

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James Hunt won the United States Grand Prix East 40 years ago today at Watkins Glen ahead of Jody Scheckter’s six-wheeled Tyrrell. Niki Lauda took third, and so went into the final race of 1976 three points ahead of Hunt.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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70 comments on “Hulkenberg tipped for Renault switch”

  1. So instead of talking about the race itself, we are talking about Lewis Hamilton’s aswer to the almighty, always true and reliable media.

    1. This is the round-up, @edmarques!
      You must have missed these 41 articles where we discussed the Japanese GP.

    2. @edmarques I don’t follow you – there’s nothing about the God thing in the round-up.

      1. Perhaps he was referring to Barry Glendenning’s article in the Guardian (referenced in the round-up) which doesn’t mention God, but does start with a “higher authority” quote. I try and follow drivers’ careers as relevant to their racing, not their antics off-track or in their private lives. However, Glendenning gave me, at least, some British insight into a non-resident, well-paid, British world champion who now appears to be perhaps less mature than his thirty-one years might suggest.
        I’d like to blame facebook and twitter for all this “evil” (have one of each for ten and twelve years respectively, never used them a single time) — they seem to be the way of this brave new world, hurting Hamilton and American politics alike ;=}

  2. Regarding Keith’s tweet about Vettel (and Raikkonen):

    Maybe he is saying it so that the race director takes notice. As far as I know, the drivers just press one button to speak on team radio, they don’t have a separate button to speak directly with Charlie Whiting or the marshalls.

    It seems ignoring blue flags is becoming a trend lately. I can’t recall another season with so many moving chicanes that refuse to get out of the way.

    1. “It seems ignoring blue flags is becoming a trend lately. I can’t recall another season with so many moving chicanes that refuse to get out of the way.”

      The trend I’m seeing is that both Ferrari drivers have developped the extremely annyoing habit of projecting their own dissatisfaction onto anyone else who crosses their way.
      A Ferrari driver crashes in the proximity of Verstappen? “Dat guy” is [censored] crazy and needs to be punished.
      A soon-to-be-lapped car is driving 2 seconds further down the road? |: Blue flags, c’mon, blue flags! :|

      Every single [censored] race it’s like that. We’re talking about Lewis Hamilton levels of annyoing.

      In my opinion, the directors of the live feed bear part of the blame. A Ferrari driver (or any other frontrunner, for that matter) complaining about lapped cars is as newsworthy and beneficial to the viewers’ experience as complaints about the weather. I don’t even think it qualifies as communication anymore, I’d classify it as background noise that should be filtered out to improve the quality of the signal.

    2. I think @keithcollantine‘s tweet was pretty lighthearted. Don’t take it too seriously.

    3. Formula 1 is currently in a generation of cars that start to feel problems with dirty air when drivers run within 2s of each other, so I completly understand why there is so much complaining about blue flags, especially if drivers feel (and they should most of the times) that there is something to win ahead.

      I agree with nase, it shouldn’t be news, but for me is pretty reasonable why they complain about it and try to put pressure on lapped to cars to move out of the way as quickly as possible.

      Yes they have their own battles, but most of the times its not even for points, so tough luck I guess.

  3. Formula E continues to deliver the goods better than F1 does. I don’t know how anyone could have fallen asleep during yesterday’s race. I found it more exciting than the Japanese GP.

    1. On a narrow Honk Kong street circuit, there were three cars side by side at one point of the race. There were plenty of overtaking, driver errors, crashes and multiple leaders during the race. So, from a viewer’s perspective, Formula E did deliver the goods with proper wheel to wheel racing.

    2. Rahal is invested in a sport where 3 of the top 4 positions in the championship belonged to the same team. If it weren’t for some bad luck, it would have been 4/4. I love me some Indycar but Rahal needs to shush his mouth.

    3. It’s fun. It’s unpredictable. It’s actually competitive beyond 2 drivers and 1 team. It’s difficult enough that drivers make mistakes in qualifying, let alone the race. No ridiculous aero dependence, no DRS.

      Ok, many other motorsport series fit this description. But I don’t see why some people are on a mission to trash it at every opportunity.

      1. Some people trash it probably because they’re scared of it for reasons they can’t fathom, let alone coherently explain.

        1. @wildfire15 …or, they don’t actually like it.

          Me too, it does nothing for me and I’m not scared. Yes, really, I’m not.

          Let’s have some 1000HP monsters, with just a bit of negative lift & fat, durable tyres. A Regenerative Braking System which forces much longer braking zones. Ability to run for 200 miles, and charge conservation allowing tactical boost deployments.

          What we have is Crown Green Bowling.

    4. Willem Cecchi (@)
      10th October 2016, 8:07

      Agreed. Formula E race was very good.

    5. @ultimateuzair @willemcecchi @wildfire15 @pinakghosh @graham228221
      No wonder di Montezemolo talked about 2 short sprint races for F1.

  4. Instead of whinging about blue flags and backmarkers not diving out of the way, why can’t we revert to the old way of the leaders having to actually make a pass. Somewhere around 2008 it became expected that those being lapped should stop their race so the leaders shouldn’t lose any time.

    Overtaking is an art and a necessary skill of a front running driver – not just those you are actually racing with. Those lapping should at least have to send one down the inside. Those being lapped just have to hold their line when a move is made and they can also carry on with their race.

    1. @kazinho I’d not like the leader of the race to be compromised because he can’t overtake a Manor. Given F1’s current regulations, a Manor on fresh tyres is almost impossible to catch, even for a Mercedes, on old tyres.

      Considering how hard it is to follow someone, and how slow cars can suddenly become the fastest on track after a pit stop, skill is a tiny portion of the issue.

      1. But if a Manor is the fastest car on track after a pitstop, why should it have to move over simply because a Mercedes is behind it and slower? If the leader really is the fastest car it should be able to close up into DRS range and then have a go. At 90 seconds per lap, going a lap down at lap 30 means you are 3 seconds a lap slower on average. If you are 3 seconds a lap slower you are not going to be keeping a leader behind for long (ex. maybe Monaco).

        People complain about the lack of action in races. To me this is almost as big a distortion on racing as DRS.

        1. @kazinho don’t get me wrong, I’m with you. I rather have Le Mans way of handling lapped cars than F1’s way. But even a 3 sec gap per lap is easily erased by fitting new tyres. Otherwise, how could a McLaren score a fastest lap at Monza?

          I rather see races decided on track without ANY influence of the stewards or race directors. It should be like it was before, a matter of not getting in the way because “it’s the proper thing to do” rather than “because there are blue flags and I might get a penalty”. In the same way some wheel to wheel actions should be taken care on track, not with penalty points or investigations.

          1. @fer-no65, the problem is that, in the past, such a system was also open to occasional abuse – Arnoux became quite dangerous when he became a backmarker, as sometimes he would maliciously block other drivers on track (particularly in the case of Prost, whom he disliked and therefore used it as an opportunity to try and sabotage every one of Prost’s races that he could), whilst at other times he collided with cars lapping him out of carelessness and an obstinate refusal to allow himself to be lapped.

          2. Remember Le Mans a few years back when Audi tried to lap a Pug that was blocking everywhere so the sister car could catch up.

            Problem will be if a car is held up by say a Torro Rosso that then lets the Red Bull straight by. Without the Blue flags there is the issue of what team has what deal with who and this can impact the race. At Monaco you could not lap any healthy car without blue flags.

    2. @kazinho – I like your suggestion, particularly the “hold their line” bit. If a driver gets DRS by coming up on a lapped car (and not just a car ahead on position), then no reason why he can’t be expected to overtake it.

      However, in this era of tire management, drivers might not want to burn up their tires passing backmarkers.

      1. @kazinho – although one area a problem might occur will be if that backmarker is involved in a battle of his own. For example, Vettel vs. Hamilton coming up on a Haas vs. McLaren. If the two backmarkers are taking two lines, they’re probably blocking the two frontrunners.

    3. @kazinho

      Instead of whinging about blue flags and backmarkers not diving out of the way, why can’t we revert to the old way of the leaders having to actually make a pass.

      I like the sentiment but realistically I think we would soon see this used for race manipulation by certain teams or engine manufacturers, as was the case before the rules were tightened up. One of the most notorious examples involved Ferrari and Norberto Fontana in 1997 but there are others and probably loads more we never found out about.

    4. Bring back the Trulli Train? Please, no.

  5. Uhm, Hulk to Renault?… I doubt Renault will be a major force in the short term, but being a works driver might be worth the try. Although, given recent form and all the rumours surrounding Perez, maybe beating him again next year would be better.

    I get the feeling, tho, that his best chances of moving to a better team are long gone… it’s a shame really, because drivers like him, Perez or Grosjean deserve much better. But there’s simply no room for everyone and given the current state in F1, chances of being in a team able to win races are very slim if you’re not in a Mercedes.

    1. About the only explanation for the move I can come up with is money.
      Money, money, money.

      Maybe Hulk knows that his boat to the big three has sailed, and that the only chance he has to sign for a works team is Renault, even if there’s no certainty that they can deliver the goods during a (typical) 3-year contract stay. That would however allow him to make some good money. AFAIK drivers in midfield team work “on commission”. They receive a small salary from the team but also have a percentage of the sponsorship money.

      In short, he’s not getting younger and this is his best chance of being a leading driver in a manufacturer’s team, if that doesn’t pan out, he leaves F1 with a healthier pocket.

      1. @faulty

        I suspect more than money, it’s because of the expose he’ll get in a Renault.

        I can’t be the only one to have noticed that Sauber and Force India, the two teams which have filed a complaint with the EU over FOM’s monopolistic practices, get virtually zero TV cover these days. Force India is a great team, generally producing very solid, very consistent results and putting teams like Williams in the shade, and yet there’s almost no coverage of their team whatsoever, while you see plenty of Williams. Sauber are in the doldrums, sure, but no moreso than McLaren, who enjoy plenty of TV exposure. You could almost forget that Sauber are even on the grid.

        FOM are using bullyboy tactics to make these teams disappear, and as a result anyone driving for them could easily be overlooked.

      2. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        10th October 2016, 12:14

        Latest word on the street is that its looking like a 3 year deal.

        3 years in Renault gives him infinitely more chance of a WDC than 3 more years at FI. I think its a good move for both parties. Also, if tyre management is less of a concern next year, I would expect HUL to be a better option than PER in the new format, so it could be a blessing in disguise for Renault that the PER deal fell through.

        As a HUL and MAG fan I sincerely hope to see both on the grid next year. Id be sickened if this left MAG out in the cold again. Especially since Ocon has failed to make an impression yet.

        I also hope the Renault F1 team adopt the awesome matte sky-blue livery of the Formula E car!

        1. Agreed. Hulk is worth the leadership role. Also Hulk moving will open up the drivers market. kinda of a big deal.

  6. I think part of the problem is that the media only wants to talk to the drivers about their last race.

    The drivers don’t care about the last race, because it’s over and done with, and the only important race is the next race.

    Sitting around and listening to 5 other drivers answering questions they don’t care about either would drive me into a homicidal rage, and snapchat pictures would be the least of the concerns for any of the journalists.

    The Thursday press conference is 90% drivel– Tell me which 6 drivers are in the Thursday press conference, and *I* could probably write the questions and answers for the next race at Austin.

    1. We all have to do things we don’t like in our job. Today for example I have to attend a site meeting, but I’m not going to play with my phone through it because others (and that’s the crucial word here) would definitely find that not cool.

      Of course Hamilton can do what he wants, but then he shouldn’t expect others to respect that just because he wants them to.

      1. Expect FIA to come with some ‘dress code’ of what can and cannot be brought along to the press conference, including the use of smartphones…

    2. the media only wants to talk to the drivers about their last race

      I don’t think that’s true. If you have a look at the transcript from Thursday’s press conference, where the Hamilton trouble started, you can see there were loads of questions on other subjects:

  7. Hulk to Renault will be a good move. Its a win win scenario for both.

    Hulk will command a works driver’s pay cheque, and will certainly know that there are enough resources within the team to build a successful car in years to come. If Renault become a front runner, he can take quite a bit of credit. Of course its a risk. FI are going well just now, but this probably as far as they can go. They’ve openly admitted in the past months that they require a fair bit of cash to move up to the next tier.

    For Renault, they’l get a seasoned campaigner who knows the ins and out the sport who also turns out to be pretty handy at driving a F1 car round a circuit.

    1. Renault will be a completely unknown territory in 2017 for any driver or competing midfield teams. In this 2016 transition year, much work seems to have been focused on the mechanical and electrical aspects rather than chasis design and aerodynamics. It is evident that the Renault engine can work well if it is bolted on the back of a good chasis. The works team have got significant time in 2016 to think/work on the 2017 car. But, would Hulk be willing to take that risk? It remains to be seen.

      1. Hulkenberg to do an Alonso?

    2. I always liked the Hulk, but is he still the real deal or already past the peak?
      MAG, Ocon and other talented young guns are still in their ramping up stage and appear to have higher potential than what Hulkenberg has ever shown despite the 100+ race starts (and not a single podium yet). So what is it that attracts Renault to take on Hulkenberg?

      1. I think any team in their right mind would hire Hulk over Magnussen or Ocon. Other than Sainz, who is already contracted to Toro Rosso, the best options for Renault were the Hulk and Perez, so I think it’s a wise move.

  8. Hulkenberg is already contracted to Force India, so I don’t really understand the Renault rumour that has appeared recently despite him already being confirmed to stay at his current team a while ago.

    1. I think it will be an interesting move if it does happen. Renault might be a mess currently, but they are a factory team, and that would always be a coveted seat in the near future. Personally, I think the Enstone squad is among the best in the business, and have championship pedigree. The Hulk really hasn’t done much at Force India recently, and I think a change of scenario should do him some good.

      1. Renowned James Allison (x-Technical Director at Ferrari) declined a handsome offer to go to Renault exactly because of their leadership mess you pointed out! Renaults leadership need absolutely to map out their specific roles & responsibilities among them before solid sustainable progress can be made by their F1 team.

    2. The story goes FI did not paid the drivers this month.
      It’s form the same rumour sources the HULK story originates.

    3. Why not Renault could be next years Dark horse. Perez did not take it so Hulk should. Beats playing second fiddle to Perez.

      1. “Renault could be next years Dark horse”

        How many years have we said that!

        1. Exactly.

          James Allison declining should be a good indication.

        2. New Regulations and they told Perez their engine will have more power. Hopefully they do not give the same engine to RBR. Mercedes do not for their customers so why should Renault.

          Next year is not like previous years my friend.

      2. And now a second fiddle should play first fiddle in a team that are just fiddling away….
        More than 100 gp`s and no podiums.
        No top teams whould sign him.

  9. Raikkonen fails to pass Verstappen in Spain “he should rethink his passing strategy”. Hamilton fails to pass Verstappen in Japan (only with an even faster car) “Verstappen’s too good at defending”. Not implying anything, just what I read.

    1. Hamilton attempted something Raikkonen did not in Spain but did in Hungary and Spa. Although Hamiltons attempt was from very far back and I thought he always had bailing out through the service road as a 50 50 in his mind.

  10. I have feeling that there may be no Alonso, no Hamilton and no Vettel in F1 in 2018. Get the sense that, for different reasons, they’re rapidly losing their enthusiasm for the sport.

    Unless 2017 is an absolute barnstormer of a season, of course.

    1. A couple of race wins, and they’ll be as pleased as puppies. Remember Vettel in 2015 compared to 2014?

      Granted… right now Alonso has the weakest car among that lot, so he’s least likely to win.

    2. I have the same feeling and would be such a shame to not have some of the greatest drivers available but not on the grid. The sport would feel pretty empty. Personally I would sign a petition for them to be permitted to just to turn up to race and not do any media whatsoever ;)

    3. And most likely there will be no Raikkonen or Button either – all active WDC’s gone.

      The good news is that we’ll have 2 new WDC’s by 2018; both residing in Monaco.

    4. Get Alonso, Button, Hamilton and Vettel into Formula E for 2018 with more power, higher speeds and swapable batteries and there won’t be a reason to watch F1 anymore.

      1. @dh1996 Hamilton to America for a bit (Indycar or NASCAR?), Button and Alonso to LMP1, Vettel into quiet retirement I reckon.

      2. That would be fantastic!

        In any case, current old style F1 is already now starting to employ some of the electrics, so don’t see why we would still have/need F1 in 10 years from now. Formula-E is already great to watch and it will only become better in next years to come!

  11. I personally found it unprofessional of Hamilton to behave that way in the press conference, but I find it also quite typical how unprofessionally hung-up journalists are about it, making themselves the story. Please focus on the stories, or, if Hamilton only gives boring answers, just don’t mention him. Problem solved. (“but what did Hamilton say about X” “nothing of interest, sadly” “Oh, ok, never mind him then; And what is Rosberg up to?”).

    1. +1

      Media response is arguably more childish than all Hamilton’s antics. At least Hamilton has a reason for being somewhat emotional/irritable, in having to come to terms with the stress of competing for a championship whilst being significantly disadvantaged.

    2. Exactly @bosyber. Also, why do they care about Rosberg. They tend to focus on only negatives

  12. Not really related to any of these articles but it’s news so: seems one of the stewards, Gary Connelly, went to Mercedes imploring them to protest, apparently behind Whiting’s back. Seems he either disagreed with Whiting, Pirro and the other stewards, or he felt that clarification of the rule was required
    Either way, this has a very unsavoury nature.

    1. @hahostolze Interesting, what’s the a source for that?

      1. @keithcollantine AutoBild. Apparently Lowe and Meadows then lodged a protest, when Wolff found out at the airport he got appoplectic and asked them to withdraw.

      2. It was in Autobild (German, so I could only read through translation software). No idea about the credibility of the source.

  13. Jakob Paulsen
    10th October 2016, 11:22

    Damn autocorrect. “My both = my boss”. Sorry.

  14. Keep the boring answer’s coming Lewis, do not get on your knee’s and grovel, you owe them nothing. It’s hilarious that its winding the media up into a frenzy.

  15. I personally have found the Drivers Press Conferences boring for the same reason as hamilton! So why do we bother to have it and also shown on TV. lets do away with it and let all media people do interviews etc in pen like TV does at moment. Then if drivers don’t want to talk so be it, that’s their perogative.

    On the point of blue flags, lets do away with these as well and make all drivers responsible for observing what is going on around them, instead of a few prima donnas getting all up tight.It would be interesting to hear what these guys thing and say when driving on normal roads?

  16. I dunno, I can’t say I ever find it very interesting to delve into how some sports personalities relate to the media… some people are just more congenial than others, it’s the way of things. Like most people who have an overdeveloped sense of their own importance, Hamilton is a surly brat when things don’t go his way, surely this can’t be news to anyone by now – and though far be it from me to automatically turn blame on the media, the same observation does sometimes apply both ways.

  17. I’m really getting sick of the negative Lewis Hamilton train. If he’s that petulant, that repulsive; stop writing about him. Stop posting stories about him and stop commenting on them. I don’t find the current US political landscape anything but a dumpster fire so I stay away because it’s not worth my time. Why people keep perpetuating this circle is baffling. If you can’t stand him keep it moving. I don’t waste my time commenting, posting, or writing about drivers I could care less about. It really says more about you (all) than him.

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