According to French publication Auto Hebdo, Nico Hulkenberg looks to be out of a drive next season - with Esteban Ocon set to replace the affable German racer.
The saga of who will partner Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next season appears to be drawing to a close, with Auto Hebdo making claims that the return of Esteban Ocon to Formula One with the Renault team is a forgone conclusion, leaving the way clear for Valtteri Bottas to retain his drive with the dominant team for 2020.
If the expected deal is confirmed in the coming days, it will leave 30-year-old Nico Hulkenberg without a place on the grid next season, putting an end to a largely successful three year stint with the French manufacturer.
Teasing fans on social media with the photoshopped image of Ocon in a Renault F1 suit today, Hulkenberg has stated that the rumour mill should provide "finally a more exciting Thursday ahead", giving traction to the rumours than an announcement could be made during the Belgian Grand Prix Formula One weekend.
If Ocon is installed at Renault next season, the most obvious options for Hulkenberg to prolong his Grand Prix stay could be either Haas F1, in place of under fire Romain Grosjean, or as an outside bet alongside George Russell at the struggling Williams team.
One thing is for sure, despite his lack of top level results in Formula One, Hulkenberg remains one of the biggest talents in the sport, and should hopefully find himself with a competitive drive for next season.
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