Daniel Ricciardo announced his move to Renault in silly season, after wanting a new challenge. He will be partnered by German, Nico Hulkenberg, who has a long-term contract with them and the Australian has been warned that he’ll have a hard time with him.
That claim comes from Hulkenberg’s former Force India teammate, Sergio Perez. “The Ricciardo to Renault [move] is quite an interesting one,” said Perez. “I think… to have someone like him in the midfield will just show how strong the midfield is at the moment.”
“It will be interesting to see him with Hulkenberg as well because I think he’s going to have a hard time there with Nico.”
Perez and Hulkenberg raced together for three years, where they were quite competitive with the team, as well as with each other. Perez edged out the German with 238 points to Hulkenberg’s 226, which says a lot about them.
They provided the base with which Force India could build their status as a solid midfield runner. Now, the team could get a new and exciting young driver in Canadian, Lance Stroll. When asked about Stroll, Perez seemed appreciative.
“I think he did not too bad alongside Felipe [Massa], who’s a very experienced driver, I think right now Williams is in a very difficult position so it’s very hard to judge,” said Perez.
“I think it’s so hard to know someone as a driver when you’re not being alongside him. There’s so much difference in Formula 1 across teams, performance between cars you see, a difference in 2.5 seconds, it’s very hard to judge a driver.”
“I think he has grown up, he has very good experience now with two years at Williams so we’ll see what he’s able to do in that regard. It’s very hard to judge someone, not your team-mate,” added the Mexican.
Perez knows a fair bit about Hulkenberg from his time at Force India but his warning to Ricciardo sounds a bit far-fetched. Ricciardo is no stranger to having competitive teammates, having had the experience of driving alongside someone like Max Verstappen.
The Dutch youngster has been giving Ricciardo a run for his money ever since he made the switch to the senior Red Bull team in mid-2016 and his rise was touted as a possible reason for the Australian’s departure from the team.
Hulkenberg should not be anything new to him. He is certainly a talented driver and if anything, he will be relishing the challenge.