Nico Hülkenberg insists his aim is to continue racing in Formula 1 beyond 2019 despite rumours he could lose his Renault F1 Team drive in favour of Esteban Ocon.
The German is out of contract at the end of the current campaign and has been linked to a move to the FIA Formula E championship, but despite this, Hülkenberg remains committed to racing in Formula 1, perhaps with the Haas F1 Team where Romain Grosjean is expected to exit.
Hülkenberg has endured a tough 2019, finishing inside the points in only four of the opening twelve Grand Prix, with a couple of seventh place finishes in the Australian and Canadian Grand Prix his best results so far. He sits a disappointing fourteenth in the Drivers’ Championship, although he is only five points behind team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who is up in eleventh.
“I’m not ready for Formula E yet,” said Hülkenberg to GrandPrix247. “I like what I’m doing.
“It will obviously depend on the opportunities available, but for now, I’m focusing exclusively on Formula 1. There are always rumours, it’s like that in F1.
“I’m still pretty confident about staying in Formula 1. There is not much that has changed.”
Renault had been expected to close the gap to the leading three teams this season but have fallen away from the pace, finding themselves embroiled in the ultra-competitive midfield battle, and Hülkenberg says the team need to seek answers to why they have not been as strong as they hoped they would be in 2019.
At the same point in 2018, Renault had eighty-two points in the Constructors’ Championship, but heading into this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, they sit sixth in the standings with only thirty-nine points.
“It’s a tough one,” Hülkenberg is quoted as saying by Formula1.com “It’s obviously quite below our expectations and the targets.
“I think we need to ask ourselves some serious questions and review a couple of things internally. There’s been far more lows than highs unfortunately and not really satisfying.
“[We need to look to] just how we go about things and where we’ve come the last 18 months with the car, what we’ve been doing. And the effect it has, which is not that much of an effect, so we need to ask ourselves in the future so updates will bring some yield and bring us forward.”