Clearly, Renault team boss Cyril Abiteboul had trouble digesting Nico Hulkenberg’s crash at the German Grand Prix last Sunday.
The Renault driver was fighting for his very first podium, but after a driving error on a wet track, the German went into the wall, retiring from the race. The words chosen by Abiteboul are strong, and are certainly not insignificant in the midst of discussions about the future of German at Renault.
“It’s a tough sport, very tough. We could have had a nice light on a season that is very complicated for us. It could have been very encouraging. Now, honestly, what we need is a faster car. Quite simply. ” Cyril Abiteboul explains to Auto Hebdo.
“The last wet event was in 2017; we’re not going to wait until 2021 to say to ourselves, -Well, we might consider making a decent result-. It would have given a boost, it would have been nice to talk about it at the coffee machine tomorrow (on Monday). We would have gone on vacation with a little more energy. That would have been a very nice gift to Nico.”
“These last few seconds destroy the rest of the weekend, with a magnificent Q2 from Nico. His [race] start was extraordinary, he has real intelligence in the race. There is a real dialogue with his engineer Mark Slade on the radio.”
The French team principal continues: “We were the only ones who had not fallen into the trap of wanting to stop too soon. This is all extremely frustrating. There is a huge frustration”
“We all had tears in our eyes.”
‘The Hulk’ has his contract is up at the end of the season and Esteban Ocon is being linked with his seat, and Hulkenberg’s boss makes plain the issue,
“Let’s be honest,” said Abiteboul,
“This comes at a time of important discussions for the future. We are thinking about our options and he knows it. It is something that comes into play.
“It’s a human and even sentimental element because Nico has been with us for three years now,” he added.
“It seems that when something reaches out to him, whether it’s a sixth place or something else, it escapes him. He sabotages himself…”
“You have to wonder about the psychological side, but with so many things happening, you cannot blame him,” France’s Auto Hebdo quotes Abiteboul as saying.
“We talked about it a little bit because it concerns us.” concludes the Renault boss.
Nico Hulkenberg is under contract with Renault until the end of the 2019 season, when several names, including Esteban Ocon, are circulating to replace him at Renault in 2020.
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You know I hate doing these types of articles, but sometimes a very juicy story appears on my favourite German F1 and Motorport website Auto Motor und Sport, I don’t have time to regurgitate it with my opinion thrown in, so I just translate it for you, the valued TJ13 reader.
In essence, the Renault team have admitted their exact…… READ MORE