It could spell the end for Hulkenberg in F1, potentially bringing the curtain down on a career that has not hit the heights some may have assumed when the German was a serial winner in lower formulae.
Instead, Hulkenberg's lasting legacy may be his record for having raced in more grands prix than anyone in F1 history without finishing a race on the podium.
Asked if it was frustrating not to have replicated his junior form in F1, Hulkenberg said: "Of course it is, yeah. But then obviously with times, with years gone by, you understand it.
"You don't want to say it fades away, but if you don't have the tools, it kind of becomes very difficult, and your options are very limited to fight at the front.
"You look at the next best thing, which is always you want to beat your team mate, maximise what you have with the car for good results. You do what you can.
"Of course you would like to do more, and still dream about it, but the reality is different. But then if you look outside, what is the next best thing? What is the alternative? Formula 1 is still Formula 1. It means a lot. It is the pinnacle of motor racing.
"It's not an option or alternative to say I'll go somewhere else now, because this is still the best drivers in the world, the best teams, the best engineers."
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