Nico Hulkenberg has been credited for taking Renault to “another level” as the German prepares to bid farewell to the French squad at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hulkenberg will be replaced by Esteban Ocon in 2020, after three years with Renault.
Although the German has failed to break his podium duck while a Renault driver, the team has thanked him for the wider impact his arrival and performances had.
“When Nico joined us for 2017 he took us to another level,” Hulkenberg’s race engineer throughout his Renault tenure, Mark Slade, said.
“Almost overnight we were back on the map and operating like a big team again. When you have someone you know can deliver, it’s like a form of subconscious motivation.
“He’s smart, efficient and doesn’t mess around, although he does have a particularly good sense of humour. He’s determined to deliver and he’s remarkably resilient, probably much more than we are in engineering!
“We’ve had some great races together, but the history books won’t do justice to them.”
Cyril Abiteboul was ultimately the man responsible for Hulkenberg’s departure, but also offered a glowing review of the German’s time at Renault. “It is clear that Nico has been instrumental in our progress through F1,” the team principle said.
“We needed a driver who had the experience and maturity to help us take the next step and we couldn’t have asked any more of him.
“It wasn’t an easy decision as he has many strong attributes: he’s a great driver, always motivated and looking and pushing for more, which has, in turn, spurred us on. We wish him every luck for the future and sincerely thank him for his huge contribution to Renault F1 Team over the past three years.”