German professional racing driver Nico Hülkenberg has revealed he was always expecting the worst at Renault following a very difficult 2019 season for the Enstone squad. According to reports, the F1 racer was ousted by Renault because he was too negative and pessimistic.
Just before the commencement of the Belgian Grand Prix, the French works team made an official statement that they would be parting ways with Hulkenberg at the close of the season. Renault has opted for a compatriot instead, with French driver Esteban Ocon announced as his replacement.
There were high hopes for Renault at the start of the season, thanks to their flattering display in 2017 and 2018. Come 2019, and it happens that they only flattered to deceive as they experienced one of their most difficult seasons ever.
With Renault often found competing behind other midfield teams, Hulkenberg believes that something just had to change within the team moving forward. He’s not wrong. However, it’s sad he had to be a major part of that change.
When quizzed about his relationship with Renault, Hulkenberg said, “I think we were more or less in agreement, but there were different drivers at different stages of their careers. Also, there are different commercial things”.
“There is also obviously the nationality factor here, and some other factors like the state of their career, so it’s a bunch of things,” speaking further.
He also acknowledged the dip in form his team witnessed this year, “I’ve been here for three years now, 2017 was good progress, 2018 was still good. This year has been a tough one, and with this, there is some wish for change, something had to give”.
Hulkenberg was pretty good last time out, matching his best result for Renault in the fifth position. He crossed the finish line just behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Renault’s strong weekend has seen them leapfrog Toro Rosso into fifth on the championship standings, 18 points adrift of fourth-placed McLaren.
Hulkenberg, on the other hand, will be in the market for a new team for next year, with reports already linking him with moves to Alfa Romeo or Haas.
Written by: Arum Victor