Nico Hulkenberg: Renault’s “difficult season” played part in Esteban Ocon change

12-09-2019 13:07
by Bevan Youl
General
Nico Hulkenberg: Renault’s “difficult season” played part in Esteban Ocon change

Nico Hulkenberg has admitted that the “difficult season” Renault have had so far played part as one of the factors for Esteban Ocon replacing him for 2020 after three years at the team.

Before the Belgian GP there had been much debate whether Mercedes were going to keep Valtteri Bottas or replace him with Ocon for 2020.
 
The Silver Arrows chose to keep the Finn and after many rumours Renault confirmed the news that the Frenchman would replace Hulkenberg, leaving the German without a seat for 2020.
 
Hulkenberg believes that a change was needed at the team after struggling to match performances last year, but that it wasn’t the only factor that lead to his departure from Renault at the end of the year.

He said (quoted by GPToday.net): "I think we were more or less in agreement, but different drivers at different stages of their careers, 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. 
 
"And then again the difficult season that we're facing probably tipped it over the edge a little bit. Things are connected.
 
"I've been here three years now, '17 was good progress, '18 was still good. This year we've had a tough year and with the difficult year that we're having, there is some wish for change, something had to give.
 
"That contributes to that and probably leads to this decision. It's a pity that we can't continue, because this year we wanted to make a step forward, but couldn't really get it."
 
The French team recorded their best finish of the season with Daniel Ricciardo in fourth and Hulkenberg in fifth, moving them into fifth in the constructors championship behind McLaren by only 18 points.

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