Hulkenberg had "hints" he would be replaced at Renault

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.

Hulkenberg had "hints" he would be replaced at Renault

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.

Read Also:

Asked by Motorsport.com 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.

Read Also:

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
The lingering weaknesses Bottas must now end

Previous article

The lingering weaknesses Bottas must now end

Next article

Podcast: Ferrari the favourites for the Belgium win?

Podcast: Ferrari the favourites for the Belgium win?
Load comments
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021