‘If I was Marko, I’d call up Nico Hulkenberg’

Date published: September 2 2020

Helmut Marko not ready to retire

Ralf Schumacher thinks Red Bull should replace the struggling Alex Albon with Nico Hulkenberg to partner Max Verstappen.

Albon is currently heading down the same treacherous path as Pierre Gasly as both promoted drivers struggled to get to grips with the car.

Inadvertently not helping the situation is Verstappen, who continues to dominate the team-mate battle at Red Bull and consistently tries to take the fight to the two Mercedes cars.

With the Renault duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon both managing to finish ahead of Albon at the latest round in Belgium, Schumacher thinks the solution to have both Red Bull cars fighting near the top is to employ Hulkenberg.

The German driver, let go by Renault at the end of the 2019 season to make way for Ocon, has already called Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko to make him aware of his availability. Time to return the call?

Nico Hulkenberg 'wasn't ready for brutal' return

“Max Verstappen was once again the lone fighter against the two Silver Arrows,” Schumacher told Sky Germany.

“For Red Bull this is not a sustainable condition in the long run and now even Lewis Hamilton is saying what everyone sees and thinks: “Unfortunately, not both drivers, like Valtteri and me, are right at the front. That makes things more difficult for them.

“I think that Dr. Marko and the whole team is also aware that this is a problem.

“If I was Dr. Marko, I would call Nico Hülkenberg and get him in the car. He is at Ricciardo level.

“He could be a great asset to the team. Marko would then have a second stable driver, who also has experience, who could help develop the team.”

Hulkenberg has been linked with both Alfa Romeo and Haas as the stand-in Racing Point driver is looking for a way back onto the grid for the 2021 season.

Verstappen praised Hulkenberg for his qualifying performance at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix where ‘The Hulk’ managed to pip him to P3 on the starting grid.

“They [Racing Point] have been competitive the whole weekend already, and I’m very happy for Nico,” he told reporters at Silverstone.

“He should have already been on the grid, and of course I hope that this performance will give him a seat for next year.”

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