Having moved to Renault F1 for 2017, Nico Hulkenberg hopes to claim the first podium of his Formula 1 career. Can he finally reach the podium places this year?
Having joined F1 in 2010 at Williams – after winning the GP2 Series in 2009 – Hulkenberg has since been with teams Force India, Sauber and now Renault.
Hulkenberg drove for Force India in 2012 before switching to Sauber for 2013. Results weren’t great so he returned to Force India for 2014.
Hulkenberg’s best result so far of his F1 career is a 4th place, both at the Korean GP in 2013 and the Belgian GP last year. Hulkenberg secured his first ever pole position back in 2010 at the Brazilian GP.
Renault had tried but failed to recruit Torro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Force India’s Sergio Perez, but have landed the leading driver desired. Hulkenberg joined Renault this year as part of a lifetime ambition to drive for a manufacturer team.
So far this season, Hulkenberg has scored a best finish of 6th place at the Spanish GP. He sits in 11th place in the Driver’s Championship with 14 points. The German driver has so far impressed many people with his qualifying performance. 7th place in qualifying at the Chinese GP and with 3 Q3 appearances showing what the RS17 can do.
The qualifying pace of the Renault has not reflected the race results. Both Renault and Hulkenberg has expressed their disappointments but have looked to have found the source of the problem.
Hulkenberg has shown that he can win in feeder F1 series and his journey from karts to now F1.
In 2015, Hulkenberg, competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Porsche and co-drivers Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber, they won the gruelling race. Hulkenberg was praised by other F1 drivers for his achievement. This was the first time that an active F1 driver had won Le Man since 1991.
Can Hulkenberg make it to the podium? If the scenario appears, yes it is more than achievable. If Hulkenberg can be near the Top 5 in the race where like at the Spanish GP, his chances shall increase substantially.