Nico Hulkenberg took time during Renault’s reveal of its 2017 car to comment on his transition from Force India – was money the only motivation?
There’s always this elephant in the room when it comes to Formula One: Money. It’s behind everything, and the advantages it gives well-funded teams over others are clear. We’ve reached a point in the sport where the notion of a budget cap seems to touch down for a moment of discussion before fluttering away again to be forgotten.
Well, it has reached a point where the drivers are openly talking about their decisions regarding joining a more well-funded team. Case in point is Nico Hulkenberg; who recently offered comments regarding his switch to Renault from Force India:
“It is quite a bit different. The amount of people at the factory and the development going on you do see the investment and the push they are putting into it which is very positive and encouraging for me to see.
“That is why I came here. Hopefully this all pays dividends later in the year but for sure this year is still a build up year and getting to grips with everything. It is a new team and always takes some time to acclimatize and to get to grips here.” – Nico Hulkenberg
Hulkenberg has stated repeatedly that his decision to leave Force India was one that primarily revolved around the issue of funding, and just how much resources and support the team could put behind their driver. It’s a logical jump, but it’s one that shouldn’t have to happen.
A driver should only be enticed to leave their current team if another can offer a better environment in the ways of a better fit, but not solely for money. The spending power a works team has at its disposal can turn into vital tenths on-track, and Hulkenberg needs to win a race. That is the reality that drivers have to contend with in Formula One, where teams which receive higher levels of funding can seem a greater prospect than teams driven by solid results on a relative shoestring.