Nico Hulkenberg saw Renault F1 exit coming with "change of dynamic"

Nico Hulkenberg has revealed he had "hints" he was going to be replaced by the Renault Formula 1 team after a "change of dynamic" during the summer break

Nico Hulkenberg saw Renault F1 exit coming with "change of dynamic"

Hulkenberg's time with the French manufacturer's works team will end after three years following its decision to sign Esteban Ocon to partner Daniel Ricciardo.

Renault informed Hulkenberg of its decision at the start of this week, ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, but the German said he had seen it coming.

Asked by Autosport if he was surprised when Renault told him its plan, Hulkenberg said: "No, I had hints, a couple of weeks already through the summer break.

"It was a bit different, there was a change of dynamic in the week after Hungary.

"I could tell there was something going on, that there might be a change ahead."

Hulkenberg has been critical of Renault's lack of progress this season but admitted he was "disappointed" not to continue.

Despite being ousted, he said there are "no hard feelings" and described the manner in which he was informed of the situation as "all good".

"The team, the management was always transparent, fair and open," he said.

"We have a good relationship. It's not necessary for us to have games and there were no games.

"It was always straightforward communication."

Hulkenberg said remaining in F1 is his priority for next season.

Haas is keen on signing the 32-year-old to partner Kevin Magnussen, while a seat may also be available at Alfa Romeo.

He could wait to see if an unexpected opportunity arises at Red Bull, as it is uncertain which of its drivers to pick to partner Max Verstappen next year.

However, Hulkenberg thinks his options are "fairly obvious" and said he expects it will be "a couple of weeks" before he knows what he is doing.

"There is time, it's not too late or anything," he said.

"There are still seats and options out there, it's just also a matter of what I want and getting a good option and working that out.

"You just need to see what is there, see if you like it or not and see if you can agree on a deal or not.

"It's not done, it's up in the air. There is discussions but it will still take a bit."

Renault is fighting for fifth in the constructors' championship after falling a long way behind its customer team McLaren in the points.

Hulkenberg said his ambition was to leave the team "with a strong finish", and said he has already accepted and understood why it has picked Ocon.

"If I agree with it, that is a different matter," he said. "That's just racing, that's life.

"I can understand the situation and it's not too hard to deal with for me.

"I feel comfortable in my skin. I know there is appetite from other teams, so I feel OK."

shares
comments
Promoted: What has Esteban Ocon been doing as reserve driver at Mercedes?

Previous article

Promoted: What has Esteban Ocon been doing as reserve driver at Mercedes?

Next article

Racing Point overhauls front end F1 car design ahead of Belgian GP

Racing Point overhauls front end F1 car design ahead of Belgian GP
Load comments
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191
 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021