Nico Hulkenberg arrived on the Formula One scene with an immaculate record in lower Formula. Unlike recent additions to the grid, (Some flourish after winning one championship – others emerge with a decent budget.) The Hulk had a racing CV that negotiated for him. He dominated the Formula BMW Championship in 2005 on his debut, broke World records in A1-GP in 2006-2007, and won the GP2 title in 2009 with two-races to spare.
When he arrived at Williams in 2010, there was legitimate hype – Here was a driver who had dominated consistently. It’s impossible to measure exactly his contribution to Force India’s climb up the order over the year’s, but it’s hard to imagine the Silverstone squad punching as highly above their budgetary weight without him.
Amazingly, Hulkenberg is yet to score a podium in Formula One. The German driver has come close but a lack of luck has been a factor. He could have won the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2012 for Force India, overtaking Hamilton’s McLaren for the lead just for the Brit to accidentally slide them both into retirement.
The 2015 Le Mans winner has been snapped up by Renault, who are looking to the German to be the number-one driver in their first fully-fledged, post-Lotus exorcised works-team F1 campaign. Hulkenberg has jumped teams before in his career, his year at Sauber in 2013 propping the Swiss outfit up in the standings. Renault will definitely benefit from his capabilities, but he is focusing on completing the job with Force India first.
“The final race of the season is always special, but this year even more so. It will be my final race with the team, so it will be emotional to work with the crew and the other team members for one last time.
People move around teams a lot in Formula One, so I know it’s a goodbye and not a farewell. I want to enjoy this last race together and make sure it turns into a celebration: I want us to confirm fourth place in the championship, then we will see a lot of big smiles on everyone’s faces and be proud of what we achieved together.
We had a few strong results in the last few years and I am confident we can get a good one this time around too. I would love nothing more than to sign off from the team in style.”
– Nico Hulkenberg
The Hulk currently sits 9th in the standings, his effort along with Sergio Perez’ consistency look to have secured an amazing 4th in the Constructors for the team.