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Hulkenberg rejected Renault contract, Prost reveals

Hulkenberg rejected Renault contract, Prost reveals

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Hulkenberg rejected Renault contract, Prost reveals

Hulkenberg rejected Renault contract, Prost reveals

Alain Prost has revealed that Renault offered a contract to Nico Hulkenberg before opting to sign Esteban Ocon.

Renault announced that Ocon has agreed a two-year deal to join the team from next season ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, leaving Hulkenberg to secure his F1 future elsewhere, with Haas a potential landing spot.

Having led Renault's development through the midfield since 2017, the team's decision was viewed as harsh from some quarters.

Renault advisor, and four-time world champion, Prost says Hulkenberg was given the opportunity to remain with the Enstone squad, but not on the same terms as Ocon, who will add an extra French flavour to Renault next year when he becomes their first native driver since Romain Grosjean in 2009.

Prost told Canal Plus: "It's nice that Ocon is a Frenchman, but it would not be logical to make that a decisive factor.

"Rather, it was decisive that we offered Nico Hulkenberg a one-year contract with option for 2021, but he wanted a two-year contract, without an option.

"Without going into detail now: he did a great job for Renault, but after three years he saw that we were not making as fast progress on the chassis as we all hoped.

"We needed someone with more freshness, more enthusiasm. Esteban Ocon brings a whole new dynamic to the team."

Grosjean could be the man to make way for Hulkenberg, with his Haas deal coming to an end this year.

The American squad's team principal Guenther Steiner has confirmed that Grosjean and Hulkenberg are the two drivers under consideration to partner Kevin Magnussen next year, with a decision due in a matter of weeks.

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