Coming off a very contentious yet entertaining F1 driver transfer off-season, silly season has been quite as exciting and shown more stability. That said, some rumors have been confirmed after months of speculation about Esteban Ocon as well as Valtteri Bottas that dramatically shape the future of both manufacturers.
Today Renault F1 have confirmed their decision to release Nico Hulkenberg at the end of the 2019 season and pick up Esteban Ocon for the 2020 season. The young French is a perfect match for the French manufacturer considering he was a cheap addition from Mercedes who had to end their driver contract with Ocon as they were not able to put him in a Mercedes. The discounted star is positioned nicely with the Aussie Daniel Ricciardo who had the transfer market in a whirlwind himself this past off season. This lineup is going to be a dangerous one for the best of the rest fight and is a good, strategic move for Renault F1 as they look look to make their mark on F1.
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal Renault F1 Team, is no stranger to creative solutions as having been reported the architect of snatching Ricciardo from Red Bull as stated above. Now getting Ocon away from Toto Wolff and Mercedes exemplifies that further. He had this to say about officially signing Esteban Ocon on a two year deal to drive for Renault F1:
We are very happy to work with Esteban for the next two seasons. Over his F1 career Esteban has experienced the highs and lows of the sport, and fully understood the need to seize every possible chance. In addition to lending his natural talent, Esteban’s aim will be to focus his natural energy and drive, both of which have been intensified by a year away from racing. It is then up to us to infuse them into the next phase of the team’s progress.
Below I’ve included the press release that Renault F1 put forth officially. The are truly excited for this pick up and Cyril Abiteboul has proven himself as a team manager and to be very shrewd after having to make changes after Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing’s Team Boss, decided to go with Honda powered engines for the 2019 season going forward in a shock move to the F1 world.
Renault F1 Team Official Press Release: 29 August 2019
Renault F1 Team is pleased to confirm Esteban Ocon will join forces with Daniel Ricciardo from 2020. The French-Australian duo will be tasked with continuing the team’s progress during its fifth season in F1.
Ocon To Renault F1 2020 Fallout
The big fallout of this move is the question of Nico Hulkenberg. What does this mean for him and his F1 future? Having getting older and older with each season and the stress of carrying the longest stream of active drivers on the grid without a podium, the pressure is mounting for Nico as well as teams looking for younger and younger talent.
It’s our prediction that Nico Hulkenburg will go to Haas F1 to replace Romain Grosjean. This would pair Kevin Magnussen and Hulkenberg after their famous post-race incident at the 2018 Hungarian Grand Prix. But let’s get real. They are professionals. This is motorsport. I am certain much worse has been said much more consistently. The two don’t seem to have any sort of animosity towards each other with KMag opening up about it lately which has been fueling the Hulk to Haas transfer talk.
Don’t miss our related content where we correctly predict Mercedes F1 would choose Bottas over Ocon for the 2020 F1 season for a number of reasons. We made you an original full-length feature as well as preparing downloadable visual story graphics.
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