Mercedes Set to Announce Bottas? Ocon to Renault?

Ocon to Renault Image.jpg

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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AlexBfromG

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Hulk wont file for unemployment im sure. and people giving him crap for no podiums, during his f1 time he never had a top 3 car and reliability is so high compared to even 10 years ago that just cant get lucky for a podium nowadays. and reminder he won Le Mans when there was actual competition ;)
 

josap11

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I think it would be the right decision. Ocon is a really good driver but I think it would mess up the team dynamic and it would be another Hamilton Rosberg which is not good for Merc. I hope they keep Bottas for another year and go with Russell for 2021. They have both been performing very well this year and that would be a very good pairing and keep the team dynamic.
 

josap11

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Hulk wont file for unemployment im sure. and people giving him crap for no podiums, during his f1 time he never had a top 3 car and reliability is so high compared to even 10 years ago that just cant get lucky for a podium nowadays. and reminder he won Le Mans when there was actual competition ;)
The Hulk isn't that young anymore and I think teams would rather go with young talent at the moment. Don't forget that in the time he was at Force India they had a couple of podiums, and it was not Hulkenberg that took them but Perez.
 
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RufGTI

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I hope that Nico Hülkenberg will then be contracted by Haas, a perfect environment to further expand his record.
 

daceaki

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Ricciardo vs Ocon, that would be fun:roflmao:
BTW I personally don't think Ocon has the talent to challenge Hamilton. He did out qualify Perez but he still has to up his game in terms of race pace. So Ocon to Merc and Bottas to Hass, and the Hulk stays
 

Eckhart von Glan

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"... putting an end to a largely successful three year stint with the French manufacturer. …" I must have been watching a different series then ...
 

Enagee

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Ocon is good but have a feeling he'd end up looking like Gasly paired with Hamilton and Mercedes will be truly f@ked for the Constructors championship.
 

BP

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I never imagined Bottas getting the boot from Merc...he has cooled down a bit since that Melbourne win, but he's doing exactly what I'd imagine Merc wants him to do: when he's on and winning it keeps pressure on Lewis to step it up...when he's not, he's still bringing in points for the constructor's. Maybe 2021, but I think the Merc line up is solid until then, Ocon might just rock the boat and we all know how Merc would love that.

"... putting an end to a largely successful three year stint with the French manufacturer. …" I must have been watching a different series then ...
Podiums and wins don't tell the whole story (Panis @ Monaco for example). I don't think it's his fault Renault hasn't caught up to the big 3 after 5 years in the hybrid era...and he was 7th overall last year in the driver's championship i.e. the best of all the drivers not in top 3 teams. Hulk can drive, he just needs a competitive drive to grab some wins.
 

Michel Bélisle

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I was really crushed for him at Hockenheim this year. He was doing very well and then he lost it in the last corner where a lot of people lost it as well. He deserved a podium in that race.
 

NDG

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Nico, in his instagram, posted that image and he added that "suck my balls" meme with Kev Mag... A hint that maybe his on his way to HAAS...
 
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Nick Hill

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"... putting an end to a largely successful three year stint with the French manufacturer. …" I must have been watching a different series then ...
No kidding. These guys get so much smoke blown up their arses by the media anymore, it's a wonder they aren't all sociopaths at this point.
 

InsaneOzzie

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Who cares!!!....not like the driver "merry-go-round" is going to make F1 more exiting to watch.
 

Leonardo Chaves

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I had high hopes for Hulkenberg when he first started but now he seems to me like Heidfeld remix, very good but not great.

There are worst drivers(a lot worst) in F1 of course, so i think he'll continue trundling along.

Ocon gets a good opportunity.
 

Eckhart von Glan

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I don't think it's his fault Renault hasn't caught up to the big 3 after 5 years in the hybrid era...and he was 7th overall last year in the driver's championship i.e. the best of all the drivers not in top 3 teams. Hulk can drive, he just needs a competitive drive to grab some wins.
I totally get your point, but whenever the big three showed a weakness, others were there to take advantage, not him. He is super, but just missing that last bit of killer instinct. Best possible endurance driver, which is where he should go.