Abiteboul: Nico Hulkenberg “has been a pillar" in Renault’s team construction

20-09-2019 16:07
by Bevan Youl
General
Abiteboul: Nico Hulkenberg “has been a pillar in Renault’s team construction

Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul has said that departing driver Nico Hulkenberg “has been a pillar” for the team’s construction over the years, admitting that “it would be difficult” should he not find a seat in Formula 1 for 2020.

It was announced before the Belgian Grand Prix that Esteban Ocon would be replacing Hulkenberg at Renault, leaving the German searching for a seat elsewhere.
 
Haas looked to be the most likely place for a drive but the American team opted to stick with their current driver line-up of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean for 2020.

Hulkenberg joined Renault from Sahara Force India in 2017, a year after the French manufacturer returned to the sport as a works team, helping them to a P4 constructors finish in 2018.
 
Opportunities elsewhere are less likely with teams wanting to promote junior or development drivers onto the grid or having confirmed their drivers for 2020 already.
 
Abiteboul said when asked how he would feel if Hulkenberg was unable to secure a seat: “It would be difficult.
 
“Because, I think I’ve said it on a number of occasions, we feel Nico has been a pillar in the team’s construction.
 
“He’s obviously also a great driver. He’s a huge professional outside of the track, has got huge experience and, for me, whether it’s between Renault and Nico, or Formula 1 and Nico, it will be unfinished business.
 
“So, I can’t do anything but really hoping he will find a way forward but it’s a bit out of our hands now.”

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