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Hulkenberg sees Ricciardo as perfect benchmark

NEWS STORY
03/02/2019

After eight seasons in F1, with Williams, Force India, Sauber and Renault, Nico Hulkenberg holds the unenviable record of having completed the most Grands Prix without making it to the podium.

Currently on 157 races, the German is comfortably ahead of countryman Adrian Sutil (128), Pierluigi Martini (118) and Philippe Alliot (109).

Renault executive director Marcin Budkowski, believes that this season, being partnered by Daniel Ricciardo, who has made it to the podium 29 times from 150 races, including 7 visits to the top step, will benefit Hulkenberg as he will have an ideal benchmark.

"I don't think Nico was resting on any laurels," he tells Autosport. "Carlos was a good push for him last year and we were very happy with the interaction of the two drivers.

"For Nico, now having Daniel, coming with his reputation as a very quick driver, as a very quick racer and overtaker, and proven race winner, he sees it as an opportunity to prove himself," he adds. "His reaction was not at all unhappy that someone of the calibre of Daniel was coming, he was very happy about it. He feels it's a great opportunity for himself to show what he's capable of."

As if to prove the point, in a recent video published on social media by the French team, Hulkenberg joked when asked by fans how he felt when he first heard about about Ricciardo's impending arrival at Enstone.

"I was devastated. I was on the floor. I was crying. It really hit me hard," says the German, before adding: "No, I was actually OK with it. It was good news."

"We're going to have an interesting interaction there between two drivers who have never been competing against each other in the same team, who are both highly rated," adds Budkowski.

"But I don't expect that to be a problematic relationship at all. Quite the opposite."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Greg, 03/02/2019 17:47

"Here is hoping he is not the wingman. RENAULT could not be that silly"

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by klmn, 03/02/2019 15:10

"I am afraid our Dani will become a wingman again , pity cuz he is a jolly good fellow."

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