Daniel Ricciardo is moving fast with Renault. They struggled with the car initially; however, it seems like the French outfit boasts of a handful of fast learners.
With Alonso set to return, the team is definitely on a roll. Amidst all, Ricciardo recalls his time with his previous teammate Nico Hulkenberg, another formidable German on the grid.
Renault relieved Hulkenberg of his seat to accommodate Esteban Ocon. However, the gamble of relying on a comparatively inexperienced driver did not yield the fruits they were hoping for.
Ocon took a lot of time to settle into the car, something that cost the team valuable points. However, Daniel recalls Hulkenberg to be something else.
“Only in public” replied Ricciardo, when asked if Hulkenberg was underestimated. “We drivers know exactly how good he is. In the beginning at Renault, he was faster than me, no question.
“But once I got used to the new team, I was able to challenge him. But it was clear to me from the start that it wouldn’t be easy for me,” admitted the Aussie.
As luck would have it, Hulkenberg was sucked into the fold yet again after Sergio Perez tested positive for COVID-19. Racing with Lance Stroll in Racing Point’s RP20, Hulkenberg clinched P7 on the grid.
For a racer who spent 6 months off the grid, Hulkenberg’s outing at Silverstone was a commendable achievement.
“He was very technical and very fast. But he was also much more relaxed than I thought. He is also German. He only spent the necessary time in the paddock and never stayed longer than necessary.” commented the Renault main man.
The greats know when to act, and when to lay back and rest. Honestly, Hulkenberg may be eyeing a return to F1. The conditions are certainly as good as they can get with the new regulations; no monopoly over the podiums, a better and healthier race.