Daniel Ricciardo, Spa, 2018

Hulkenberg: Ricciardo move puts pressure on Renault to raise their game

2018 F1 season

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Nico Hulkenberg says Daniel Ricciardo’s arrival at Renault will increase pressure on the team to produce a race-winning car.

Hulkenberg, who is in his second season with the team, said he was told about his change of team mate for 2019 on the night before Ricciardo’s move was revealed by RaceFans.

“For me it’s good news,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “I was happy with Carlos [Sainz Jnr] but I’m happy with any team mate.

“Obviously bringing in a driver like Daniel shows that Renault’s serious. It also puts a bit of pressure on them to deliver a good car, bringing a multi-grand prix winner. It’s only positive.”

The news of Ricciardo’s arrival has added to the team’s motivation, Hulkenberg said.

“I think everywhere it was received very well, in the factory as well as in Viry. It shows the employees as well the seriousness, that Renault wants to really move to the front of the field that they want to be back in form competing for victory.

“And for sure it will motivate everybody and put a spring in their steps.”

Hulkenberg, who is yet to score his first podium finish in Formula 1, said he isn’t concerned about going up against a multiple race-winner.

“I think I just have to do my homework. I’m not worried about that or [my] speed. I think I can compete with anyone if I’m in good form and doing my homework then I don’t think I have to hide from anyone.

“But I’m looking forward to the challenge. He’s a strong driver with a very good reputation. Like I said before it’s a win in every aspect.”

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2018 F1 season

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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6 comments on “Hulkenberg: Ricciardo move puts pressure on Renault to raise their game”

  1. I’m looking forward to seeing how he’s going to fare against a driver of Ricciardo’s caliber in equal machinery.

    1. Up until recently, the Red Bull Drivers lived on their own little red bull Island when you look at comparisons against proven drivers. It changed recently but still their only connections to the “outside world” are Vettel through Kimi, and Sainz through Hulkenberg. We know Sainz was a little slower than Max, which Ricciardo is too, but Hulkenburg is consistently faster than Sainz. So I am actually expecting Hulk to be faster than Daniel.

  2. My vote for best pairing on the grid

    1. @pastaman Likewise. Although I am concerned that Hülkenberg could become a number 2 driver

      1. I’m concerned Ricciardo could become one lol.

  3. Very well put.

    Anyone who thinks Ricciardo’s move was a bad one I think has underestimated how serious Renault are about returning to the top.

    I suspect we’ll see a very different attitude from Renault next year.

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