Nico Hülkenberg & Renault: Netflix episode S2 / 08 raises questions


( – The Netflix documentary series “Pressure to Stay on” raises questions about the fate of Nico Hülkenberg. In the eighth episode of the second season, Hülkenberg's ultimately unrewarded ride in the pouring rain of Hockenheim, where even the podium seems to be within reach, is a central plot line – as are the consequences that his slip on the oily drag strip next to the track supposedly had.

Nico Hülkenberg


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On Netflix, the impression is suggested that Hülkenberg would still be driving for the Renault factory team if he hadn't put his yellow racer in the guardrails of Germany that Sunday afternoon at the Gigantic Prix.

In front of the Hockenheim scene, team boss Cyril Abiteboul says: “This year is the last year of our original agreement with Ni co. But there is a choice with which we can continue our journey together. ” And he signals understanding when he says: “I know that he always has in the back of his mind, happened on and off the track.”

Hülkenberg himself becomes even clearer: “If I do on the podium, there are options to continue with Renault. ” Only after his Hockenheim shatter he says: “This moment wrestles very harmful. I don't know how to describe it. Battle very difficult.”

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That Formula 1 drivers have clauses in their contracts that apply to Triggering an extension to automatically meet certain criteria is not uncommon. Rarely are they so banal, as Netflix suggests in Drop Hülkenberg, namely that the contract option is triggered at a podium . How exactly it is formulated wrestle, the parties involved remain silent. In any case, Abiteboul suggests that Hockenheim could have been a turning point in the negative when he said that, despite all the adverse circumstances, Hülkenberg ultimately “drove the car”.

“The fact The fact that he was once again denied the podium made me think that maybe there was a curse on him or something else between him and a top 3 result, “said the Renault team boss.

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Abiteboul had previously spoken quite differently about Hülkenberg at the Canadian Gigantic Prix in Montreal. At the beginning of the mentioned Netflix episode, the Frenchman said: “Nico has the pace to be as fast as Daniel. If not even faster.”

In Montreal, Hülkenberg finished seventh, 0.4 seconds behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo. The Netflix documentary shows for the first time fully that Hülkenberg is actually the significantly faster wrestler of the two Renault drivers in that race.

“Nico, I was told that you should hold the space” , his racing engineer reports on the pit radio. “We have to cool the car, and that means you have to drop two seconds behind Dany.” Hülkenberg does not answer at first. “Nico?” You hear on the radio. And then again: “Nico?”

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Before the German answers: “That's bullshit,” he counters. “Just tell me I can't attack him, buddy.” And he emphasizes: “It's okay.” With a little distance to the race it sounds like this – the team player – like this: “The crew was under pressure to achieve a good result and they definitely wanted to get it over the finish line. I understand that.”

“But it's still frustrating for me as a racing driver,” sighs Hülkenberg. “I want to race and fight and prove that I'm better than the other.” He is therefore not resentful: “After the race we talked about it in detail. It can happen. Well. There is not much more to be honest, honestly.”

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The fact that Abiteboul admits that Hülkenberg is as fast as Ricciardo is the certain aspect of Netflix episode S2 / 08. Less positive is how generously the Netflix crew deals with the factual accuracy. Time processes are sometimes twisted and cuts manipulated so that the end result fits the storyline. The magazine serves a good staging, but has little to do with journalism.

Hülkenberg has for 2020 no new Formula 1 cockpit found. At Renault you have the 32 -Year-old replaced by Esteban Ocon, who 2019 on the Mercedes bench had spent. Whether this will really perform better “has to be seen this year,” says former Formula 1 driver Timo Glock in the Interview with '' .

“Back then, Ocon did a good job at Power India. Whether he is really better than Hülkenberg remains to be seen, “said Glock. “I'm curious to see how he looks alongside a driver like Ricciardo, whom I see as a team colleague at a much higher level than at Power India Perez back then. Besides Ricciardo, you will get a better picture of how intestine Ocon really is.”

Nevertheless, Glock is skeptical to see his compatriot again in Formula 1: “Once a driver is out, a comeback is always difficult,” he says of Hülkenberg. “Because there are always a lot of young drivers moving up, but also drivers who bring a lot of money with sponsors. It will be difficult for an experienced man to come back.”

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