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Hulkenberg: I needed a new girlfriend

NEWS STORY
11/01/2017

While many believed it would be Sergio Perez who sought pastures new for 2017, it was his German teammate Nico Hulkenberg who opted to move on.

Despite a disappointing return to F1 in its debut season, the German chose to move to Renault, a move that many would argue is a huge gamble at this stage in his career.

On the other hand, while some feel Force India has peeked, Renault can surely only get better and Hulkenberg wants to be part of that.

"At Force India we were 'best of the rest' behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull," he told the official F1 website. "But then again, we didn't have the prerequisites and sheer power of manufacturers, who enter the competition under completely different conditions.

"At Force India we turned a little into a lot," he continues. "At Renault the next few years will be about turning a participant into a real contender, one that makes use of the advantages of a manufacturer in the best way possible to achieve the racing success of the past. And believe me, we will!"

The new regulations - intended to shake up the order - could also help.

"This year I believe the cards will be reshuffled a little, so it could be a good opportunity for us," he admits. "We are working hard to catch up so we can put ourselves in a position where we can score some points.

"Of course people are excited about my move to Renault, so am I. In fact I am very excited and super motivated to start to work with my new team. But at the same time we have to be careful not to expect too much right away, we have to work hard... harder and better to catch the train back up."

Having spent five seasons at Force India, some might say the relationship had become 'comfortable', that a change was needed if Hulkenberg was to move up a step.

"After my long 'marriage' with Force India I felt I needed a new girlfriend!" he admits. "Jokes aside, I am deeply grateful to Force India and left on an absolute high note. We had the most successful year in the history of Force India: P4 in the constructors' championship. That almost felt like dreaming the impossible dream - and the dream came true! Nevertheless, I am convinced that switching to a works team is the right step for me to achieve new successes. Both Renault and myself are challengers with good potential."

In the wake of Nico Rosberg's shock announcement, Hulkenberg was one of the drivers contacted by Mercedes, was the German ever tempted?

"Given the situation as it was at that very moment, there was no thought of a switch in any way or form as I was already in love with my new 'girlfriend' Renault," he insists.

"It is a pity that Nico will not be back to defend his title," adds Hulkenberg. "But I am also sure he knew what he was doing. For me - always the pragmatic person that I am - it will mean no more lifts to Grands Prix in his plane: that really sucks."

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1. Posted by Tweek, 11/01/2017 18:57

"Best of luck to the Incredible Hulk !"

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