Sport24.co.za | Hulkenberg ‘relieved’ latest F1 spell over

Abu Dhabi – Nico Hulkenberg bade farewell to Formula One, at least for now, with a smile of relief on Sunday when he finished 12th for Renault at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 32-year-old German had known for several months that he was set to lose his seat and admitted it was a curious experience as he drove his final races with the team.

“I’m feeling good,” he said after his 177th Formula One race. “I am kind of relieved that it’s all over.

“You know when everybody keeps talking about it and you keep answering those questions and comments. It’s tense and it’s a strange feeling.”

Hulkenberg’s seat at Renault has gone to Frenchman Esteban Ocon for next season.

The popular German was in F1 for eight years racing with Williams, Force India and Sauber before joining Renault and was widely regarded as one of the finest drivers not to even post a podium finish.

“(I’m) happy that I did a good race and I threw everything at it,” he said. “It’s a shame not to get that point in the end.

“It was a worthy last race for me. Thank you to the team for three years. Not fantastic years, but there were highs and lows. Thank you to them.

“It’s a hell of an environment to grow up in as a young adult. I made some good friends and memories and I will look back at it all with a smile on my face.”

Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix results on Sunday:

1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes-AMG) 1hr 34min 05.715 sec, 2. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull-Honda) at 16.772sec, 3. Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 43.435, 4. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes-AMG) 44.379, 5. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) 1:04.357, 6. Alexander Albon (THA/Red Bull-Honda) 1:09.205, 7. Sergio Perez (MEX/Racing Point-Mercedes) 1 lap, 8. Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Renault) 1 lap, 9. Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Toro Rosso-Honda) at 1 lap, 10. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/McLaren-Renault) 1 lap, 11. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Renault) 1 lap, 12. Nico Hülkenberg (GER/Renault) 1 lap, 13. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari) 1 lap, 14. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas) 1 lap, 15. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Haas) 1 lap, 16. Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari) 1 lap, 17. George Russell (GBR/Williams) 1 lap, 18. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Toro Rosso-Honda) 2 laps, 19. Robert Kubica (POL/Williams) 2 laps

Championship standings:

Drivers

1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 413 pts (champion), 2. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) 326, 3. Max Verstappen (NED) 278, 4. Charles Leclerc (MON) 264, 5. Sebastian Vettel (GER) 240, 6. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) 96, 7. Pierre Gasly (FRA) 95, 8. Alexander Albon (THA) 92, 9. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) 54, 10. Sergio Perez (MEX) 52, 11. Lando Norris (GBR) 49, 12. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) 43, 13. Daniil Kvyat (RUS) 37, 14. Nico Hülkenberg (GER) 37, 15. Lance Stroll (CAN) 21, 16. Kevin Magnussen (DEN) 20, 17. Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) 14, 18. Romain Grosjean (FRA) 8, 19. Robert Kubica (POL) 1

Constructors

1. Mercedes-AMG 739 pts, 2. Ferrari 504, 3. Red Bull-Honda 417, 4. McLaren-Renault 145, 5. Renault 91, 6. Toro Rosso-Honda 85, 7. Racing Point-Mercedes 73, 8. Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari 57, 9. Haas 28, 10. Williams 1

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