Nico Hülkenberg feels the Haas F1 Team are now the main rivals of his Renault Sport Formula One Team in the battle for fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship, while the McLaren F1 Team has fallen away.
Renault currently sit fourth having scored seventy points in the opening ten Grand Prix of the season, with Hülkenberg scoring forty-two of them, while Haas have fifty-one points in fifth, but the form of the American outfit has been strong in recent weeks, with a fourth and fifth place finish in Austria being the particular highlight.
McLaren started the year strongly with Fernando Alonso scoring points in the opening five races, but a series of retirements and a drop in competitiveness for both the Spaniard and his team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne has seen them fall to seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, three points behind Haas and one behind the Sahara Force India F1 Team.
Hülkenberg says Haas has shown flashes of speed throughout the year but fulfilled their potential in Austria, whilst the line-up of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean lined-up seventh and eighth on the grid for last weekend’s British Grand Prix, proving that their current package is a good one.
“It looks like it now [that Haas pose the biggest threat to Renault], since the last couple of weekends,” Hülkenberg is quoted as saying by Crash.net. “I think its shifted around with Haas coming through more and McLaren seem to have lost out a little bit.
“We take them seriously because they are fast. How they got there doesn’t really play a role for me, they are strong at the moment and we just have to deal with it.
“They fulfilled their potential [in Austria], whereas before they’ve really missed out. The momentum sometimes swings around, but at the end of the day they have a strong car and a good package.”