Hulkenberg delivered better than Renault - Abiteboul
Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul has praised the professionalism of Nico Hulkenberg after they decided to drop him as a driver, and actually reckons he has performed better than the team this year.
Ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Renault announced Esteban Ocon as the new partner for Daniel Ricciardo for the 2020 campaign at the expense of Hulkenberg, who now, for the moment, does not have a seat for next year.
The French team had aspirations of breaking into the top three this campaign, or at the very least becoming the ‘best of the rest’ in fourth. But, it hasn’t happened, as regular reliability issues have cost them in the first half of the season.
It is these problems which makes Abiteboul think Hulkenberg’s performances this season have been more impressive than the team in the garage.
“I feel that he has delivered maybe a bit more than what we've delivered. I don't want to be too harsh on the team, but its a fact,” he told Sky Sports at the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday.
“There is a feeling of unfinished business with him, that's why it's important to leave every seat on good terms. We are not leaving, there are still nine races to go.
“Its very important we do a good job, all together for that reason.”
Even though it was obviously a tough decision for Renault, Abiteboul believes Hulkenberg will respect the choice, such as his professionalism and knowledge of how F1 works.
“But, he is extremely smart, and one of the reasons he has this reputation, which to a degree, is in contrast to what he has achieved,” the Frenchman insisted.
“Because, if you look at it, he's got a number of race starts and very little in terms of podiums in particular.
“In the community of Formula 1, we know how smart, professional he is.
“A difficult decision like this one. He understands the team, understands the dynamic. I think he also understands, not saying he agrees, but I think he understands the decision.”
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