Nico Hulkenberg says he does not fear Daniel Ricciardo.
The pair’s Renault boss, Cyril Abiteboul, says 31-year-old Hulkenberg is “enormously underestimated”.
The German holds the unenviable record of being the longest-serving F1 driver without a single podium.
And now in 2019, he is facing the top driver Ricciardo as his teammate.
Hulkenberg’s Renault contract runs out at the end of the season.
“One thing I know for sure is that it will not be boring with Daniel,” he said.
“Of course it’s a nice challenge to compete against a grand prix winner. I’m curious how it turns out.
“My future in the sport depends on the outcome of the duel, so of course Daniel is my first yardstick. But I’m relaxed. I know what I can do and I know that I will give everything,” Hulkenberg said.
“I realise it will not be easy against Ricciardo. He’s fast, he’s smart, he’s experienced. He has everything an exceptional driver needs,” he is quoted by Speed Week.
“I’m going to have to get everything out of my head to beat him, but I don’t think I have to hide.”