Hulkenberg teases "exciting Thursday" amid Ocon rumours

Nico Hulkenberg has teased a "more exciting Thursday" at the Belgian Grand Prix, amid reports Esteban Ocon will take his Renault Formula 1 seat and Mercedes will retain Valtteri Bottas.

Hulkenberg teases "exciting Thursday" amid Ocon rumours

Hulkenberg's deal with the Renault works team expires at the end of 2019 and reports in Germany and France have suggested he will be replaced by Ocon next year.

Ocon was in the running for the second Mercedes seat alongside Lewis Hamilton for 2020, but were Mercedes to choose Bottas then Ocon would be free to strike a deal with another team.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he would use the summer break to choose between Hamilton's existing teammate Bottas and reserve driver Ocon.

Read Also:

While no announcement has been made ahead of this weekend's Belgian GP, Ocon has been increasingly linked with a move to Renault and Haas has also been tipped as a potential destination.

On Tuesday, Hulkenberg responded to the front cover of the latest issue of French publication Auto Hebdo, which declares Ocon's move to Renault is a done deal and includes a mock picture of Ocon in a Renault race suit.

"Finally a more exciting Thursday ahead," Hulkenberg wrote on his Instagram story in a caption that accompanied a picture of the Ocon/Renault magazine cover.

When approached by Motorsport.com, a Renault spokesperson said the team had no comment to make on the French story "or rumours otherwise".

Mercedes has given no indication regarding the outcome of its driver deliberations.

Ocon was due to join Renault for 2019 but was snubbed when the team made the shock move to sign Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull instead.

However, 12 months later, he has the opportunity to join Ricciardo at the French works team.

Hulkenberg has been key to Renault finishing sixth and fourth in the constructors' championship in the seasons he has raced for the team.

But he has struggled to match Ricciardo this season, has been outscored 22-17 in the points and been critical of Renault's lack of progress.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul made it clear at the French Grand Prix it was looking at alternative options.

He indicated it would likely enter discussions "after the summer break", but the timing would have been influenced by Ocon's role in Mercedes' deliberations.

Hulkenberg and Bottas are both due to speak on Thursday at Spa as part of the usual pre-race media arrangements.

shares
comments
Ferrari: Bigger calendar a "risk" coupled with budget cap

Previous article

Ferrari: Bigger calendar a "risk" coupled with budget cap

Next article

Mercedes worked "straight through the summer break"

Mercedes worked "straight through the summer break"
Load comments
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021