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Nico Hulkenberg

The lowdown on Nico Hulkenberg

Lee McKenzie's view

"Nico Hulkenberg started his career managed by Willi Webber and was the only driver that Willi chose to manage apart from Michael Schumacher and his brother Ralf, so that was a ringing endorsement for his junior career. 

"Nico had a lot of potential and it's really frustrating that he has not been able to realise that. This is a guy who has been in F1 quite a while now and, even though he has won Le Mans 24-Hours, he hasn't even had a podium in F1. 

"Nico's not had the easiest run, even when he started on pole position in Brazil in 2010 he was sacked the next week by Williams.

"It would make me very happy if he could get a podium or a win because it would boost his confidence and could even be a turning point for him."

A natural winner, Hulkenberg’s junior CV is immaculate, and he ranks alongside Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton as the only racer to win the GP2 title in their rookie season.

The German started out with Williams in 2010, but despite a stunning pole in Brazil it wasn’t enough to keep his drive, forcing him to take a reserve role at Force India.

Some seriously impressive Friday practice form earned him a 2012 race seat, and he duly outclassed teammate Paul di Resta.

Unable to secure a top drive, Hulkenberg moved sideways to Sauber, where after a tough start to the season, he excelled, enough to come into serious consideration for a step up to Lotus.

The deal never materialised, perhaps in part to Hulkenberg’s taller frame, meaning a switch back to Force India.

Alongside Sergio Perez, he has helped propel the Silverstone-based team up the grid, but despite a stunning Le Mans win on his first attempt in 2015, that first F1 podium finish still eludes him.

A new chapter begins for the seasoned German driver at Renault - will they be the team to bring him some longed for success?