New Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg will skip Le Mans to focus on F1

Renault Formula 1 signing Nico Hulkenberg says he will not return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, despite the race not clashing with the F1 calendar

New Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg will skip Le Mans to focus on F1

Hulkenberg won Le Mans at his first attempt in 2015 for Porsche, alongside Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber - both of whom have been elevated to fulltime drives with Porsche's LMP1 team in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Hulkenberg was unable to defend his crown last year, thanks to Porsche dropping its third entry for Le Mans and the race clashing with the European Grand Prix in Azerbaijan.

A date clash has been avoided with the Baku race this year, but when asked if he was considering a comeback to the 24 Hours, Hulkenberg replied: "No."

Hulkenberg clarified his decision had nothing to do with the injury sustained by Sauber's Pascal Wehrlein during the Race Of Champions in Miami in January, and explained he preferred to focus on his new F1 manufacturer commitment with Renault.

"Nothing to do with Pascal, or what happened to him, I didn't quite have the appetite this year to do it," added Hulkenberg.

"When you are committed to a manufacturer, then you're committed - with Force India there was no manufacturer involved so it was easier anyway from the start.

"I think it's good the way it is now. I've been there, done it, very fortunate to win it and lucky. So let's leave it the way it is and I can return, perhaps, in the future."

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