Why did Hulkenberg join Renault?

  • 15 Oct 2016 12:27
  • comments 0
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Nico Hulkenberg announced yesterday that he would be joining Renault at the start of the 2017 season. Here at F1Today, we look at why the move makes sense.

He gets to work with a manufacturer team
"It has always been my dream to work for a manufacturer team."

A direct quote from Hulkenberg who admitted that working for a works team is a dream of his. The biggest benefit of a works team is that they will be more financially suited to adapt to the expensive fees in Formula One.

Renault have a much, much bigger budget than Force India and are expected to make bigger gains than the Silverstone based team in the coming years.

He may get a shot at the world championship

The second reason is intertwined with my last point. Renault will more than likely make more progress on their car than Force India due to the sufficient budget and this may result in Hulkenberg fighting for a championship down the line.

It is quite an ambitious target but at 29 years old, Hulkenberg needs to take a risk and move somewhere else if he wants to take all out glory. Renault themselves have set the target of becoming constructor champions by 2020 and if their prophecy comes to light, then the race winning car could be enough to give Hulkenberg the championship.

He will more than likely be a team leader

Hulkenberg never really got the opportunity to take command in a team and be the leader when he drove alongside more experienced drivers such as Rubens Barichello and Adrian Sutil, and similarly experienced drivers such as Paul di Resta and Sergio Perez.

However with six years of F1 experience on his back, Hulkenberg looks to be paired with a lesser experienced team-mate, with Kevin Magnussen, Jolyon Palmer and Esteban Ocon looking to fill the seat.

Hulkenberg's talent has not gone unnoticed, especially through the eyes of other drivers. Fernando Alonso produced a comment earlier in the year stating he was astonished that the German had not yet found himself in a front running team.

To escape the comparison to Sergio Perez
Few would argue with that since their partnership in 2014, Perez has done the better job on-track, most notably taking four podiums. When the Ferrari seat was on the table, Perez was favourite to take it, while Hulkenberg was rarely mentioned.

Hulkenberg may feel the need for a new team-mate to escape the talks of how his team-mate is performing better than him, and also to take on a new challenge of overpowering a new team-mate.

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