Charles Leclerc is a “lucky bastard” for seeing his junior success translate into positive results early in his Formula 1 career, Nico Hulkenberg says.
Leclerc won GP3 and Formula 2 in successive years before debuting in F1, spending a season with Sauber before moving up to Ferrari in 2019, with seven pole positions and two race wins following.
Hulkenberg debuted in F1 having also taken championship wins at the same levels, but is set to depart the sport at the end of this year having set a record for competing in the most grands prix without securing a podium finish.
With the Leclerc comparison put to Hulkenberg, he joked: “It makes me think ‘lucky bastard’!”
Describing his thoughts about his impending departure from F1, Hulkenberg said: “It doesn’t feel like unfinished business, because I’ve done my business.
“I’ve performed well over the years, very consistently, many times when it was on the verge or other people didn’t get hired or get a job, I still was wanted and hired and paid to drive. That also speaks for some quality.
“Of course I would like to have a different kind of record, more points and podiums and victories, but I know the reasons why, and why maybe things didn’t go that way.
“I’m at peace with myself there. I sleep well at night with my eyes closed. I’d love to continue racing, but if not, then life goes on.”