Nico Hulkenberg convinced switching to Renault is the right step
Nico Hulkenberg says he is convinced that his decision to switch from Force India to Renault for the 2017 season is a step in the right direction and will eventually pay off.
The German has taken a risk switching from a team which finished fourth in the standings behind only Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari, to join Renault which scored just eight points – 165 less than Force India – and finished ninth behind newcomers Haas.
However the Renault project is expected to make massive gains in 2017 as it completes its rebuilding programme.
Hulkenberg compared the switch to that of a new girlfriend following a long marriage and insists the move will be for the better.
"After my long 'marriage' with Force India I felt I needed a new girlfriend! Jokes aside, I am deeply grateful to Force India and left on an absolute high note," he told the official Formula 1 website.
"We had the most successful year in the history of Force India: P4 in the constructors' championship. That almost felt like dreaming the impossible dream – and the dream came true! Nevertheless, I am convinced that switching to a works team is the right step for me to achieve new successes. Both Renault and myself are challengers with good potential."
The German driver insists having manufacturer support is key to challenging for the championship as smaller teams will never have the power and budget to race at the very front.
"At Force India we were 'best of the rest' behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. But then again, we didn't have the prerequisites and sheer power of manufacturers, who enter the competition under completely different conditions.
"At Force India we turned a little into a lot. At Renault the next few years will be about turning a participant into a real contender – one that makes use of the advantages of a manufacturer in the best way possible to achieve the racing success of the past. And believe me, we will!"