F1: 3 Reasons Why Hulkenberg Could Challenge Ricciardo at Renault
When Daniel Ricciardo announced that he would be leaving Red Bull for Renault in 2019, most fans of the sport were as shocked as there were excited to see silly season become a reality.
Nico Hulkenberg was already contracted to remain with the French outfit for the next campaign and the majority don't believe that the Hulk has a chance of outscoring the Honey Badger next year.
After all, Hulkenberg holds the record for most Formula 1 races without a podium and Ricciardo already has seven wins under his belt.
I, however, think differently, and Hulkenberg could surprise a lot of F1's faithful this time next year, here's why:
#1 Raw Speed
When Hulkenberg was a fresh-faced rookie in 2010, he was driving for Williams, and the British outfit was in a similar situation to what they are now, with one of the slowest cars on the grid.
Rubens Barrichello, the most experienced driver in F1 history, was the German's teammate in his rookie year and Hulkenberg was predictably outscored by the Brazilian veteran over the whole season.
However, Hulkenberg did have the team's best moment, claiming pole position at the Brazilian Grand Prix, the first pole for the team in five years.
Nobody expected this, it's one of the most surprising qualifying results in the history of the sport and remains his only pole to this day.
It was admittedly a flash in the pan, but the talent was clear for everybody to see as he was over a second faster than anyone else, a huge margin in the sport.
Speed is the most important attribute for a racing driver to possess, you can be as consistent as you like, but without good pace, you'll be lapped in no time.
Ricciardo also has incredible raw pace, there's no denying that, so it'll be interesting to see who comes out on top in qualifying, something Hulkenberg has made a real habit of in 2018 so far.