Nico Hulkenberg has said that his final race in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a “worthy final race” with Renault, as the German bows out of Formula 1.
Hulkenberg had managed to get himself in to Q3 in Saturday’s qualifying, ending up 10th before being promoted to ninth after Valterri Bottas’ penalty for changing his engine, and the 32-year-old was running in the points right until the last lap of the race.
But despite holding on to 10th place for the majority of the Grand Prix, Hulkenberg was passed by the McLaren of Carlos Sainz on the last tour, with the McLaren making an excellent move to secure the last points position, and was then immediately overtaken by the sister-Renault of Daniel Ricciardo, meaning the German signed off from F1 with a 12th place finish.
Although the Renault driver was unable close his time in F1 with a top ten finish, he was pleased with his performance, especially because he was running a one-stop strategy.
“We threw everything at it today and it was a shame not to score any points.” commented Hulkenberg after the race.
“The one-stop strategy was hard to pull off and my tyres were degrading too much at the end.
“Still, we had positive race pace and were very much in the fight until the end.
“It was a worthy final race for me with the team.”
Hulkenberg said that he crossed the line with “good feelings” and that after spending three years with the Renault team, they now feel like family an he is grateful for the opportunities they have given him.
“It’s been three good years with them and we’ve grown very close like a family.” added Hulkenberg.
“I’m grateful and thankful towards them for all the highs and lows we’ve had together and I wish them every success for the future.”