Nico Hulkenberg says a Grand Prix Sunday that features a "crazy" race or "favourable conditions" in 2019 could see him step onto the podium for the first time in his Formula 1 career.
Hulkenberg is yet to achieve top three success but has taken a pole position, which came in his maiden season. On Tuesday, Renault launched its new car, the R.S. 19 at its factory in Enstone, with Hulkenberg and new teammate Daniel Ricciardo in attendance.
Renault is hoping to close the gap to the top teams this year, which will be its fourth season since it took over the Lotus team in 2016. Hulkenberg admits its impossible to know what sort of pace Renault has this early but believes it could achieve its first podium since its return this year.
"Kind of still a lot of questions about it," the German said. "I mean now obviously it’s condensed because we’re here today, so much media. But I understand why, it’s fine.
"Obviously I do want to be on there one day you know and we’re working on it, I’m working on it. So is it going to happen this year, if it’s possible, it’s impossible to say right now," Hulkenberg added.
"But as a race driver you always push for the best possible and hopefully if we are closer to the top three this year maybe on a given Sunday with a crazy race or favourable conditions it can happen. But I think we’ve just got to make sure that we are ready when the opportunity presents itself."
Last year, Renault ended the championship in fourth place, beating Haas to the 'best of the rest' spot. However, it was 297 points of Red Bull who finished the season one spot ahead of the French manufacturer.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing