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Hulkenberg "not fussed" about being team leader at Renault

Nico Hulkenberg rejects Renault 'team leader' status: It's more important for me to help the team, to bring it forward, to develop it and then later on to develop for me...
Nico Hulkenberg says he is “not fussed” about being known as team leader at Renault this season and that it's “not so important”.

Hulkenberg, who made his F1 debut with Williams back in 2010, switches to Renault this year after five seasons with Force India – punctuated by a year with Sauber in 2013. He will be paired with 2014 GP2 Champion Jolyon Palmer, the Briton having only made the step up to F1 in 2016. It means many will regard him as the lead driver, although Hulkenberg himself has rejected that label.

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“To be honest that's not so important,” Hulkenberg told Racer this week. “I think that's something that gets emphasised by the media, to lead the team. What does it mean, to lead the team?

“You want to be in front, you want to beat your teammate. If you lead or not, it doesn't matter.”

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“It's more important for me to help the team, to bring it forward, to develop it and then later on to develop for me,” he added.

“That also means I have to beat my team-mate whoever that will be, both this year and beyond.

“But I'm not too fussed about the leader thing – I'm going to do my job and whoever is next to me is not really that important to me.”

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by Rob Wilkins

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Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1

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February 12, 2017 1:51 PM

When he first arrived in F1 he was being touted as the next Schumacher, a title he never seemed happy to accept. Always looked over for the plum drives yet nearly always in the running. Every year he plods on in a midfield team and ends up 9th/10th sort of position but I always get the impression that if he had a top car, he'd be a good bet. Always a nice chap though. So he now goes to another mid-pack team (albeit a works team) which maybe has a bit more promise and Jolyon Palmer. Initially, he'll be team leader just on experience and should be able to score a few points here and there to confirm the position. If Renault make a big leap this year, they have the right man for the job and if not, he'll just do his job without the histrionics. A 'team leader' title is hardly impressive anyway - its points that matter.

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