Following the conclusion of the 2019 Formula One season, Nico Hulkenberg piloted the Renault for the last time in Abu Dhabi. The German driver will step away from Formula One after his seat was taken by Esteban Ocon.
Recently, the 32-year old turned up to the Renault factory in Enstone to say his farewells. Everybody at the factory turned up as Hulkenberg gave a speech and thanked the team for sticking by him for 3 years.
Interestingly, Former F1 driver Mark Webber admitted that Nico Hulkenberg left the sport at the right time. Nico Hulkenberg hangs up his F1 gloves after nine seasons and 177 races and always missing out on a podium.
— Renault F1 Team (@RenaultF1Team) December 9, 2019
The German had been holding out in the vague hope of somehow bagging a 2020 seat. Sadly, one of his last hopes, Haas F1 slammed the door in his face and retained Romain Grosjean alongside Kevin Magnussen.
Ferrari driver and compatriot, Sebastian Vettel confessed that Hulkenberg being forced out was “an example of how things are wrong in F1”.
However Webber was of the opinion that it is the right time for the Hulk to step away from Grand Prix racing.
The Australian said, “I think he’s had a long career in Formula 1. He’s handy, you don’t have a long career like that in Formula 1 if you’re not delivering to a degree.
“But he has had 10 years, 176 races I believe, that’s a fair run at it and there is always fresh blood coming through with different motivations, different deliverables, different appetite to learn simulators, new tech, all those sort of things.
“So you’re very much out to fodder pretty quickly in this game. He’s had a long career and I think it’s his time to move on.”
Hopefully for Nico Hulkenberg, Formula One has not seen the last of him and he will somehow snatch a seat in 2021.
Naturally, the fans reacted to the Hulk’s departure from Formula One.
Legends are not always heroes. Farewell Nico Hulkenberg. For now. pic.twitter.com/e5sdfeoNNT
— Matt Muldoon (@f1soda) December 2, 2019
— itsripe (@AriannaRipe) December 2, 2019
— F1 Racing More (@F1RacingMore) December 1, 2019
We say goodbye Nico Hulkenberg a tall gentle man who has lasted 178 races, 1 pole and 2 fastest laps. An incredibly skilled driver who never reached his potential in F1. Nevertheless he will always be remembered in the F1 community as a relentless and consistent midfield driver. pic.twitter.com/yRGM0eyZcx
— F1FIX (@F1FIX2) December 4, 2019
As if study week wasn't bad enough, now there's no more Nico Hulkenberg in F1 😩
— Niall (@LaoisLaoisLaois) December 2, 2019
— Myles IM (@MylesIM1) December 1, 2019
— Divya Sualy (@DivyaSualy) December 1, 2019
@ nico hulkenberg right now pic.twitter.com/ZyA97hjduq
— jessica (@raphsvarane) December 1, 2019
I would just like to say that it is an absolute travesty that Nico Hulkenberg will not be on the grid next year. It’s also massively tragic that people laud the whole “never had a podium la la la” nonsense over him. Guy is probably faster than 60% of the grid
— Jamie🎾 (@jxmielannister) December 1, 2019
— Nαƚԋαɳ Wιɠιɳƚσɳ (@ARIGRAFanboy) December 1, 2019
Goodbye Robert Kubica and Nico Hulkenberg 😥but great career both drivers 👏
— Masa vaan (@vaan_masa) December 1, 2019
— Noemi🎄 (@piuansebastian) December 1, 2019