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F1: 3 Reasons Why Hulkenberg Could Challenge Ricciardo at Renault

George Howson
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.16K   //    22 Aug 2018, 19:44 IST

#2 He's Beaten (almost) Everyone Put In Front of Him

F1 Grand Prix of Russia - Qualifying
Sergio Perez (left) is one of the few drivers to have bested Hulkenberg over the course of a season.

With Formula 1 being a sport where the athletes don't have a level playing field in terms of their equipment, the only true measure of a driver is how he matches up against his teammate.

All you have to do is look at the title battle this season, it's impossible to say who has done a better job out of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, it's a matter of opinion.

With that in mind, how does Hulkenberg stack up against his current and former teammates? Unsurprisingly, very well indeed. Nico's outscored Paul di Resta, Esteban Gutierrez Jolyon Palmer and is currently ahead of Carlos Sainz in this year's championship.

Sainz is definitely the pick of the bunch out those drivers and was expected to beat the Hulk all ends up this season but it hasn't worked out like that. Hulkenberg has outscored the Spaniard 52-30 and dominated during qualifying as well.

There is an exception to Hulkenberg's teammate battles, though, and it's not Barrichello, it's Sergio Perez. The two were at Force India for three years between 2014 and 2016, and despite Hulk out-scoring the Mexican in 2014, the tables were turned for the next two seasons.

In that time, Perez scored four podiums, something Hulkenberg hasn't managed in his entire career. I honestly think it's a case of Perez suiting the Force India car very well, just like Nico appears to fit into the Renault like a glove, but this period did raise questions about how good he is.

Of course, the exact same can be said of Ricciardo, and he actually has beaten all of his teammates (including Vettel) so with Renault likely to close the gap between them and leaders for 2019, it should be a close battle to see who gets their first podium in yellow.

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