F1: 4 Possible Destinations for Nico Hulkenberg in 2020
Sept. 21, 2019
Renault 's Nico Hulkenberg has an uncertain future in Formula One after his team announced Esteban Ocon to be Daniel Ricciardo's new team mate for the 2020 season.
F1 is known for being a tough motorsport series for any racing driver to break into, as there are only 20 seats need filling each year. Sadly, many talented racers have been given the axe owing to the lack of seats.
This has either been down to new talent going up the ranks or another driver offering more to the team, mainly financial gain. Last year saw Ocon being replaced by Lance Stroll at Racing Point in which Mercedes were happy to hire the Frenchman as a reserve driver.
Mercedes' Team Principal Toto Wolff has praised the young driver and has been determined to get Ocon a valuable seat back into F1.
The outcome leaves Hulkenberg without a seat and after recent news of Haas extending Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen's contracts for next season, the German's chances of staying in F1 are not looking good.
But there are still a handful of seats left untouched for 2020 and here are four possible options for Hulkenberg.
#4 Racing Point
It does look like an outside chance but there is a very small chance for Nico Hulkenberg to be offered a seat at Racing Point for next year.
Hulkenberg drove for Force India earlier on in his career before they were renamed Racing point. He's had two spells with the group in which the first stint was in 2011 and 2012 before being reunited with Force India in 2014. Hulkenberg then left the team for Renault at the end of 2016.
Sergio Perez is currently confirmed for Racing Point in 2020 after the Mexican signed an extension which will keep him at the team until 2022. Lance Stroll. however, has not yet been confirmed but is expected to keep the seat given the fact that his father Lawrence Stroll after all does own the team.
#3 Red Bull
Joining Red Bull is another unlikely option for Nico Hulkenberg but there is one seat left unconfirmed. Max Verstappen is no doubt representing the team for next year after another fine collection of wins under his belt in 2019.
But after the recent swap of Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon, there looks to be an uncertainty of who will be Verstappen's team mate for the following season. If the history of recruitment at Red Bull tells us anything, it's that the team only promote their own drivers from the recruitment system.
The likes of Sebastian Vettel, Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo have been promoted from their sister team Toro Rosso and with the way Albon is handling his spell so far at Red Bull, the man from Thailand looks to be Verstappen's team mate for 2020.
But this is F1, who knows where the future lies when it comes to Red Bull's driver recruitment.
#2 Alfa Romeo
Now this is more of a realistic option for Hulkenber, to rejoin a team that has been renamed from Sauber to Alfa Romeo and to add more light to this possibility, the team principal of Alfa Romeo, Frederic Vasseur, did not confirm Antoine Giovinazzi 's future with the team for 2020 in Friday's press conference.
Vasseur was asked in the press conference if Hulkenberg was under their radar to which he said "We are focusing on Antoine. He had a bad weekend in Spa but he had a strong recovery in Monza and we want to help him develop and continue to improve. We will have a discussion about the future but I think step by step Antoine has done a good job".
He further added to the above and send "The speed is there for sure (for Giovinazzi), he is matching Kimi's (Raikkonen) pace in qualifying and we have nothing to complain about."
The bosses at Alfa Romeo seem happy with Giovinazzi but when there's Hulkenberg available, it can be tough to say no to a driver like the Hulk.
Another team Hulkenberg has had a bit of history with is Williams . He spent just one season with the British factory team but it was a spell that impressed many and were, at the time, a sign of things to come.
At the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix, Hulkenberg achieved his first pole position in his rookie season - beating Sebastian Vettel to the front line. His stint in Sao Paulo got him a contract at Force India the following year, which would end up being a two year spell.
Williams' Robert Kubica announced this week that he will not be racing for the team next season, which now leaves a door open for a new driver to slot into the vacant position. It was never really a surprise that the Polish driver was not going to continue with Williams in 2020 but now that the confirmation is in, there might still be hope for Hulkenberg.
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