F1 »

Hulkenberg doubts Force India can improve on 2016

Nico Hulkenberg says Force India's lack of budget and squad size compared to the top three teams means it will struggle to trump its 2016 campaign.
Nico Hulkenberg says Force India's lack of budget and squad size compared to the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull means the team will struggle to trump its 2016 F1 campaign in the future.

The Renault-bound driver helped Force India to its best-ever F1 season finishing fourth in the world constructors' championship, while Hulkenberg enjoyed equalling his own best year in the sport by finishing ninth in the drivers' standings.

While Sergio Perez feels Force India can continue to progress and potentially target the top three in 2017, Hulkenberg says it will be 'very difficult' for the Silverstone-based squad to close up to the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull without backing from a manufacturer or additional outside financial help.

“It is difficult to predict. To move on further, to close the gap in terms of being in the mix with the top three teams, it's very difficult,” Hulkenberg said. “I think they would need a bit more budget, more resources.

“I think the people are there, we have a very good team in place here at the track but also back at the factory so I think that wouldn't stop it. It's a huge challenge and it's not easy.”

Nico Rosberg retires! And 10 other 'I wasn't expecting that' F1 moments

That thinking was part of the key reasons behind Hulkenberg's switch to Renault in 2017 with the German driver putting faith in the French manufacturer's long term goal of returning to the top table in F1.

Reflecting on his final season with Force India, the former Le Mans 24 Hours winner is pleased with his consistency, having scored points in 14 out of 21 races, but laments the near-misses at Monaco and Spa of a maiden F1 podium.

“There's a few cases for sure where things happened and we were just unlucky,” he said. “Don't know why. But it's not that I think about it and cry like 'I'm always the unlucky one', it's just life. Hopefully it returns the other way, a favour in the next few years.”

QUIZ: Which F1 team should you drive for?

Hulkenberg joins Jolyon Palmer at Renault in 2017 while Esteban Ocon takes up the second race seat at Force India alongside Sergio Perez.



Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst


by Haydn Cobb



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
12.11.2016 - Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
Force India reveals the launch date for its 2017 F1 challenge
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.