Renault team principal Cyril Abiteboul insists Nico Hulkenberg has been “instrumental” in the development of the team during his time with the French outfit, as the driver prepares for his last race with the team in Abu Dhabi.
A couple of months ago, Renault confirmed that Hulkenberg would not be staying with the team for the 2020 campaign, with Mercedes junior Esteban Ocon coming in as his replacement to partner Daniel Ricciardo.
The German holds the unfortunate record of starting the most races in Formula 1 without claiming a podium spot. Abiteboul, however, has praised his departing driver for the role played in establishing them as a works team again.
“[Nico’s] contribution has been instrumental in our reconstruction and progression,” said the Renault boss.
“We have harnessed his experience and ability to deliver strong results and he has played an important role in Renault’s Formula 1 journey.
“We want to ensure we end our time together with the best result possible.”
Hulkenberg, meanwhile, highlights the “ups and downs” of his career with Renault, while thanking the backroom staff and engineers for their support over the years.
“It’s been three memorable years for me at Renault,” he stated.
“There have been highs and lows, but I’ve enjoyed my time as a driver here. We’ve had some great results and some ‘nearly’ moments, all of which I’ll remember for a very long time.
“I’d like to thank everyone at the team including my engineers and mechanics for all their effort over the last 61 races.
“We have one more to go and we’ll be giving it our all for the best possible result.”