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Prost: Hulkenberg rejected new one-year contract

  • Published on 31 Aug 2019 14:50
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Renault's Alain Prost states Nico Hulkenberg rejected a one-year extension with the team, which led it to sign Esteban Ocon.

The Enstone squad announced earlier this week that it Ocon would join Daniel Ricciardo on a two-year contract, following a year out as Mercedes' reserve driver.

MORERenault opens up on 'difficult call' to axe Hulkenberg | Ricciardo, Hulkenberg to take grid penalties

Hulkenberg now finds himself searching for a new seat, with Haas a likely option for the German - however Prost states that Hulkenberg could have found himself back at the team next season.

"It's nice that Ocon is a Frenchman, but it wouldn't make sense to make that a decisive factor. It was rather decisive that we had offered Nico Hulkenberg a one-year contract with an option for 2021, but he wanted a two-year contract without option."

"Nico has done an extremely good job for Renault, but after three years we saw that we have not made the progress we were hoping for. We needed someone with more freshness, more enthusiasm. Esteban Ocon brings a whole new dynamic in the team."

Renault has endured a difficult season so far as it currently sits sixth in the championship standings, in a season in which it was aiming to pull away from the midfield fight.

When Ocon joins the team next season, he will be the first French driver racing for Renault since Romain Grosjean partnered Fernando Alonso in 2009.

Replies (3)

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  • Of course he did. a one year deal to a driver of Hulk's calibre from a team of Renault's calibre is kinda an insult. Had it been Ferrari or Merc' or the lot he'd swallow it whole. And it doesn't get better by them more or less directly blaming Him, a driver, for Their failure to produce a good car. Looks like it's more than Williams that require a Brownian purification...

    • + 0
    • Aug 31 2019 - 15:31
    • Also: I'd not be surprised if Hulk retire tomorrow. That PU smoked harder than my neighbour. Did ya see that final puff when he crossed the finish line during quali?

      • + 0
      • Aug 31 2019 - 16:01
    • I agree it's an insult. Especially after what Hulkenberg gave to Renault. Other than a couple of serious mistakes that prevented podiums, Nico has been absolutely solid. If anything it was Renault that failed Nico.

      That being said, I think that taking Ocon is a great deal because of this:

      Ricciardo is now making serious money. Hulk wasn't cheap either. Ocon is a somewhat promising driver at a bargain because of Mercedes. I don't even think it matters that he's French. I frankly can't see the French giving a shit about it.

      • + 0
      • Sep 2 2019 - 00:00

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