Nico Hulkenberg, Max Verstappen, 2019

Hulkenberg would take on “killer” Verstappen at Red Bull

2020 F1 season

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Nico Hulkenberg says he is prepared to go up against Max Verstappen at Red Bull if he gets the chance.

The Renault driver is running out of options to remain on the grid for the 2020 F1 season. However Red Bull could find themselves with a vacancy if the team prefers not to retain Alexander Albon or bring back Pierre Gasly or Daniil Kvyat.

“I couldn’t say ‘no’ to that car,” said Hulkenberg when asked if he’s take the chance to choice Red Bull. “So I guess you’d have to take it.”

However he admitted it would be tough to go up against Verstappen in the same car. “It would be obviously a big challenge as we know Max is a killer and he’s one of the fastest.”

Hulkenberg’s opportunities to remain in F1 narrowed yesterday when Haas confirmed Romain Grosjean had been retained for a fifth season at the team.

“Haas was definitely an option,” said Hulkenberg, “we were talking, that’s definitely not a secret but we just didn’t get together on this occasion, we couldn’t agree a deal.”

More likely opportunities for Hulkenberg than Red Bull could exist at Alfa Romeo and Williams. “I think you’ll see and understand for yourself what’s still available, which seats and which not,” he said when asked about his 2020 options. “That’s pretty obvious.

“Right now I don’t know. I think it’s to a big extent out of my control now, out of my hands. So most important is to drive and to perform. We just need a bit more time. I think there is still possibilities and realistic chance. But in this game you can never be too sure.”

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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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26 comments on “Hulkenberg would take on “killer” Verstappen at Red Bull”

  1. He’s not remotely excited to the idea of being in the Red Bull and didn’t even believe he can match Max.

    1. But would Red Bull even need him to? It’s Max’s team, he is the one they look to to take the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes and to win races. They need a reliable number 2 to hoover up points and take opportunities when they present themselves (like Bottas at Mercedes), Hulkenberg would be ideal in that role. It would also give Gasly and Albon the time and space they need to develop at Toro Rosso.

      1. @geemac

        Depends on How Albon performs over the next few races. So far, Albon looks pretty promising, and unless his form goes down the Gasly route for the remainder of the season, I don’t see Red Bull taking an interest in a solid midfield driver in his early 30s.

        1. If Albon ultimately does a similar job to Gasly, i think the sensible thing to do would be to look outside the Red Bull pool for a solid, quick, experienced guy to partner Verstappen. Albon and GAsly can they duke it out against each other at STR for a few seasons so the Junior Team isn’t completely routed again in the search for a new Max/Dan/Sebastian.

          Also, Mark Webber was 31 when he signed for Red Bull. :)

    2. Not sure how you gathered that from what he said. Maybe you should run your own website, you could write the clickbait headlines.

  2. Unfortunately, the RB-drive is a very, very long shot, so unlikely to happen.

    1. Three guys would need to fail rather badly for that to happen.

  3. Starting to look like Williams or bust for Hulkenberg. I can’t see Alfa Romeo ditching Giovinazzi for next year. Perhaps the best chance he has of finding a seat outside Williams is if Vettel retires and Ferrari make a play for Ricciardo.

    1. I disagree, Giovinazzi has performed about on the level I feared he would. (remembering his brief stint where he crashed in 2 races)
      At this point GIO is just someone to keep the seat warm for Mick “The Second Coming” Schumacher. Hulkenberg can keep a seat just as warm, and is highly likely to bring in more points.

      1. just someone to keep the seat warm for Mick “The Second Coming” Schumacher

        Good point, I forgot that.

      2. Sadly Mick Schumacher has more name than talent. He’d be a romanticised Lance Stroll. Hard pass.

        1. He will probably get an F1 seat for that at some time anyway. To get an F1 seat, it’s the combination of talent – money – name which matters. If one of them is high enough, you don’t need the other two and Schumacher’s name is enough to forget about the first two.

          Regarding Alfa strategy, could be smart to get Hulk on board to have some transition after Kimi as well. Comparing their feedback next year and have an experienced driver in two years next to Mick (if they go that way). In the other hand Hulk is also getting older and his abilities to develop a car are not well proven.

          1. Alfa is there for bringing in young Ferrari drivers. How is Kimi or Hulkenberg in that role? They are certainly not young.

            Other than that I would have Hulkenberg in my Alfa any day of the week. He is good at scoring non-podium points.

        2. How do you know? Some drivers peak in F1. You wont know untill he has tried it.

          Like the people romanticing, you are on the other end being negative.

          1. I’m afraid I’m with Phylip on this one. Schumacher had several races on the Prema this year that were plainly ordinary, and he’s not against the best crop of F2. I’m afraid he would be a 2nd Stroll, maybe slightly better.

  4. Poor Gasly must be in panic mode right now.

    I am not sure RBR will bring Hulk to RBR… but in my view he will definitely join the group.

  5. Like he took the fight on Riccardo?

    1. The points haul is 34-31 to Ricicardo and I think it is 6-4 in the races, so 2019 has hardly been a rout.

    2. The points haul is 34-31 to Ricicardo and I think it is 6-4 in the races, so it has hardly been a rout.

  6. He’d suit Formula E and that’s not a bad thing.

  7. There’s zero chance of a drive at RB for him, why would they? It’s Williams or bust for the hulk.

  8. Red Bull are in a difficult position as they have three drivers who are all arguably too good to be dropped from Toro Rosso, but not good or experienced to be in a Red Bull challenging for wins/titles. Putting somebody like Hulkenberg in the Red Bull means dropping one of Gasly, Kvyat or Albon from Formula One entirely and none of them deserve that. In reality I think they’ll line up for 2020 in the same state they’re in now.

    Hulkenberg is looking certain to drop off the grid now unless something ridiculous happens (looking at Vettel in particular…). Alfa Romeo seem reasonably content with Giovinazzi, though he’ll need a strong end to the year. I don’t think Hulkenberg would go to Williams to just roll around at the back.

  9. “What would I say if i could fall upwards from mid-field unemployment and into a championship caliber team? Sure…I guess I’d go for that…”

    1. He knows as well as we (should) do, that the RBR seat is not opening up….

  10. Then he is going for a number 2 car, he should expect having slower set ups and number 2 priority over everything

    1. nonsensical comment

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