Ricciardo: Statistics masking Hulkenberg's strength

  • 17 Jan 2019 15:59
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Daniel Ricciardo is expecting a tough challenge from new teammate Nico Hulkenberg, stating that his F1 record doesn't properly display his skill level. Ricciardo opted to leave Red Bull at the end of the 2018 season after five years, where he amassed seven wins and 29 podiums.

Hulkenberg, who has six more Grand Prix starts than the Australian, is yet to bag his first podium and currently holds the unfortunate record of the most F1 race starts without a podium finish to his name.

However, Ricciardo is confident that Hulkenberg is better than what the statistics show: "I'll certainly take a lot of the highs with me and take them with me as confidence moving to Renault," Ricciardo told Autosport. "And I'll need that as well because of Nico.

"I think that everyone who knows F1 knows his calibre. From the outside, you can think that he's done 200 races or whatever and never had a podium, but we all know he isn't that level of driver. So I know I'll need to bring all of this, not only to beat him, but also to help fast-track the team to progress."

Ricciardo's 2018 season was struck with a number of reliability issues that saw him take just two podiums - a duo of victories in China and Monaco. The Australian says that the memories of claiming his maiden Monte Carlo win will remain with him forever.

"I'll still hold onto Monaco forever because the aftermath of all that was the biggest high I've ever had," Ricciardo said. "Walking back into the Energy Station that day after doing all the press - just seeing everyone.

It was full, and I got a standing ovation, and I was so proud that everyone was so happy for me. I do this for myself, this sport, and the day I stop loving it I'll stop. Having that effect and making so many other people happy, that was awesome. That moment made me feel like I'm not just doing this for myself."

Replies (6)

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  • If Ricciardo have a hard time against Hulk, it will both elevate Hulk's and Perez' interest from the top teams, methinks..

    • + 0
    • Jan 17 2019 - 16:52
    • mcbhargav

      Posts: 856

      ...which is highly unlikely methinks. RIC just playing the good teammate role.

      • + 1
      • Jan 17 2019 - 18:03
    • Oh he wont, but neither will the Hulk. I expect a pretty fierce in-team battle between those two, unless one of them were to stomp on the other.

      • + 0
      • Jan 17 2019 - 18:07
    • mcbhargav

      Posts: 856

      Of course, neither one of them are aspiring to retire at Renault. Getting beaten by one's team mate will have dire consequences for their future championship dreams.

      • + 0
      • Jan 18 2019 - 00:46
  • I have full faith in Nico. It's going to be a very interesting season at Renault! Besides Williams(Yes yes, I know), I might actually be supporting Renault as a primary team this year.

    • + 0
    • Jan 17 2019 - 17:54
  • xoya

    Posts: 303

    In my view, they are on par with each other. Ricciardo is only a bit flashier and it's probably down to his Italian roots.
    That means higher profile, more/better sponsors etc.
    I believe that they are both above Vettel in the skill tree though.

    • + 0
    • Jan 18 2019 - 08:20

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