The Formula 1 time of Nico Hulkenberg is nearing the end for the time being: For 2020, the German has found no cockpit in the premier class. But that's up to him, too, because he did not always look as good against his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo as he had expected in the run-up. Especially in qualifying Hülkenberg seemed to have his problems.
Only seven out of 20 qualifying sessions, he could decide against the Australian – but three of the past five. This means that he was especially troubled by the season opener, although it was his team-mate who came to the team and had to settle down.
However, Hülkenberg does not want to take a negative view of it: "There were two or three qualifiers that went out in his favor because of technical problems with my car, and you have to see that," he emphasizes.
With the car "on a war footing"
But he does not want to find an excuse: "In general he just found a very good rhythm in the middle of the year, he was very strong there I did not feel so comfortable at all when I was at loggerheads, so that makes all the difference. "
His conclusion is therefore rather mixed. Renault was well below expectations anyway, because you currently have to fight for fifth place in the designers. "The midfield is tight, we could not pull away, did not make that move athletic, we could not improve the car significantly," he says. "McLaren left us sooner."
Why is the big question: "Sometimes it was route-specific, sometimes it did not go so well, sometimes inexplicably for us, just got that way," he shrugs. It was noticeable that Renault was behind McLaren, especially in qualifying, and then made up ground in the race – and Ricciardo, like in Suzuka, Mexico or Brazil, succeeded in the last race.
Only once better than seventh
Therefore, it is also the Australian who scores the upper hand. Ricciardo has 54 points, Hülkenberg 37 points. Most of the time he collected them with little Klecker results; the big Aha result was missing. Only once there was a place that was better than seventh place: fifth place in Monza.
"It was generally a bit of a tedious year of the car," says Hulkenberg before his two last for the last race. "Up and down, difficult, not everything under control, I'm not dissatisfied, but not really satisfied."
By the way, if the German lost the team-internal duel in the end, it would be the fourth time , In 2015 and 2016, he had each the draw against Force India team-mate Sergio Pérez, this he defeated in 2010 in his rookie season at Williams against the experienced Rubens Barrichello