Nico Hulkenberg with a smile called Charles Leclerc a “lucky b*stard” considering how their junior careers were so similar, yet in F1 so different.
Slowly but surely the options for 2020 have dried up for Hulkenberg since he announced he would leave Renault at the end of the current season.
Haas looked set to be his next destination, but that door would close when the American outfit retained Romain Grosjean for 2020.
A possible vacancy at Alfa Romeo also failed to materialise with Antonio Giovinazzi getting another season, while Red Bull and Toro Rosso ruled Hulkenberg out of the running for a drive with either team.
The German also made it clear that he wouldn’t be interested in a move to Williams.
Hulkenberg will depart F1 at the end of 2019 it seems and will take with him the record of most race starts (175) without a podium, though he maintains that he would walk away with no “unfinished business”.
“It doesn’t feel like unfinished business, because I’ve done my business,” he told Crash.net.
“I’ve performed well over the years, very consistently, many times when it was on the verge or other people didn’t get hired or get a job, I still was wanted and hired and paid to drive. That also speaks for some quality.
“Of course I would like to have a different kind of record, more points and podiums and victories, but I know the reasons why, and why maybe things didn’t go that way.
“I’m at peace with myself there. I sleep well at night with my eyes closed. I’d love to continue racing, but if not, then life goes on.”
Hulkenberg came close to signing with Ferrari several years ago, and like Leclerc who did sign with the Scuderia this season after just one year with Sauber, Hulkeberg boasted titles at every stage of his junior career.
Asked if he sees Leclerc as a case of what could have been for himself, Hulkenberg said with a smile: “It makes me think lucky b*stard!”