After three years of moderate success, Renault will be parting ways with Nico Hulkenberg. Apparently, according to Alain Prost, the German driver was becoming more and more negative each year.

So, the 31-year old will leave the French outfit at the end of the 2019 Formula One season. His place will be taken by Esteban Ocon after he penned a two-year deal to race alongside Daniel Ricciardo.

Nico Hulkenberg has been part of the Renault program since 2017, and had been growing increasingly pessimistic.

“We’ll have a hard enough time at Renault next year, so it was important to appoint a motivated driver for next season,” admitted the four-time world champion.

Prost added that it was keen to sign Ocon, who is “motivated” to get back to racing after spending the 2019 season on the sidelines after losing his seat at Force India last year.

Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg

“We don’t want to have any pessimistic drivers in our team and that’s why we chose Ocon, who is very motivated after a year on the side of the road,” Prost added.

“Nico is pretty negative, but he’s also right on certain points. However, we have to look ahead and then we can’t use the negativity of a driver. Especially since next year will be a very difficult season for us.”

The former world champion also confessed that with the 2021 regulations on the horizon, most of their focus will be there. In other words, the French manufacturer will be expecting a difficult campaign in 2020.

“I can be honest, we’re going to focus on 2021,” Prost stated. “As a result, next season will be a mediocre to perhaps even bad season for us.

“Because of the new rules coming up for 2021, it makes no sense for us to develop much more for 2020. We are going to make a lot of changes and hope to perform at a high level in 2021.”

Alain Prost
Alain Prost