Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Hungaroring, 2019

Hulkenberg: Renault driver change is “not only about performance”

2020 F1 season

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Nico Hulkenberg has suggested reasons other than his performance explain why he will lose his Renault seat to Esteban Ocon for the 2020 F1 season.

Renault has confirmed Ocon will join the team at the end of the season alongside Daniel Ricciardo.

In a post on social media, Hulkenberg said the team had failed to achieve its targets. He also suggested there was more to Ocon’s appointment than a belief he would perform better.

“It’s a pity that the journey with Renault will end after the season, especially as we haven’t been able to reach our goals yet,” said Hulkenberg. “We had hoped to take another step forward this season, but unfortunately we haven’t managed that so far.

“It is well known that the choice of drivers is not only about performance, it is a whole bundle of factors. But that’s the way it is. Surely we would all have liked to see it differently but nevertheless, I’ll keep my focus and try to reach the maximum success for our team in the remaining races.”

Hulkenberg indicated he is looking at potential opportunities to remain on the grid this year.

“With regard to 2020, I am confident to find a good solution, but there is nothing to announce at the moment.”

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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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28 comments on “Hulkenberg: Renault driver change is “not only about performance””

    1. Red bull, Haas, Sauber, mercedes.

  1. @paeschli And partner Magnussen? Haas would need its own Drive to Survive spin-off series, “We Look Like A Bunch Of Ball-Suckers”.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      29th August 2019, 13:45

      I think they would get on okay.
      One option I haven’t seen mentioned is Alfa Romeo. Gio has been lacklustre and another solid midfield scorer would be a good acquisition

    2. And partner Magnussen?

      It’s really not that deep as to affect a contract situation lmao @ninjenius

  2. Ocon is French. Marketable. I get that it might be of importance to Renault. And he’s young, might improve. I think they realised that Hulk isn’t quite Ric, it’s close but not quite, and then all those factors and room for improvement, it adds up. Hulk is a known entity. Ocon is exciting. It makes sense.

    1. Yeah, all of those things including giving daniel a younger driver who can learn from him make sense @haohstolze. And who knows, I’d guess Ocon is also cheaper in pay than Hulk would be!

      1. ehm, sorry for miswriting your handle there @hahostolze

      2. Hulk is only two years older than Ric…

  3. Alfa! Alfa! Alfa! Let’s go!

    1. with you my friend, with you

    2. @hugh11 Hulk would get massively beaten by Kimi. Haas and beating Magnussen and then replacing Vettel is his best shot

  4. Jose Lopes da Silva
    29th August 2019, 13:50

    I don’t think Hulkenberg and Magnussen will have much trouble. As Magnussen said, things said once, recorded in video and shared a thousand times online get more track with the audience than with themselves.

    Moreover, Magnussen can hit all kind of team-mates, regardless of being Hulkenberg, Verstappen or Kubica.

  5. Nico is already 32, but this might be a healthy move for him. He did a great job to drag Renault up the order, especially last year, and all he got was a boot after a truly terrible year for a whole team. Sure, he did a big mistake in Germany that probably cost him a podium, but he didn’t deserve to go. Renault was probably hungry after Ocon really badly.

    Haas for him? Shouldn’t be a bad destination after they finally solve their issues.

    1. @pironitheprovocateur, you say “after they finally solve their issues”, but can we necessarily be sure they will definitely solve their issues?

      Their form over the past few years has tended to be rather erratic, and it is not the first time that they have had technical issues which have taken a long time to solve – it took them a couple of years to solve the brake issues they kept having in their first few seasons, for example.

  6. I think there’s definitely some Mercedes/sponsor money with Ocon.
    I’d rate him a bit below hulkenberg

  7. I think this opens the door for Perez to Haas, Hulkenberg to Racing Point, Grosjean out (unless Williams takes him).
    I think Perez is itching for a move and Haas is a good fit for him. Racing Point need a solid midfielder who can get the points in and held develop the car.

    1. Why would Perez leave RP for Haas? That is at best a lateral.

  8. Formula E? He’d fit in well and may even have a chance at the championship.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      29th August 2019, 17:40

      Yeah there had been rumours about him taking the Porsche FE drive

      1. Porsche already has two confirmed drivers.

  9. Nico didn’t deserve this. He pulled them along the last two seasons and while he’s not been remarkable this year he’s been pretty solid against Danny Ric, he definitely deserved the seat. Haas is the obvious option but Alfa are on the up and look far more tempting than Haas who look absolutely lost at the moment. I think he’d quite easily have the measure of Raikkonen too.

  10. time for haas to get rid of mag and gross.. hire hulk and pascal or maybe kvyat(if he wants to or unless he is playing the long game to return to RB if albon fails)

  11. It’s funny to think that Hulk could end his career podium less while Grosjean has had 10 podiums in three different cars.

  12. Ocon is cheaper and French. Just what Renault needs for now. And with a bit of luck, he crashes the car before the engine blows.

  13. Squirrel Irritable:
    – Reanult can afford anything,
    – We are switching driver for a cheaper one.

  14. Can’t help but think if he didn’t drop it in Germany we wouldn’t be reading these stories.

    1. I don’t think so. i think they had already made up their mind before Germany tbh.

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