Updated: Nov 20, 2019
As the season comes to a close, we also are saying goodbye to Renault driver Nico Hülkenberg.
The 32 year old German driver has unfortunately lost his formula 1 driving seat for the season to come. This is not to say his Formula 1 career is over, but for now it is not an option for him.
Like the majority of drivers, Hülkenberg started his career in karting and made his debut in 1997. Nico has had a steady and very accomplished career. He swiftly moved through the field year by year. After winning the Formula BMW title in 2005, he went on to win the A1 Grand Prix title the next year. In 2008 he won the Formula 3 series and then the GP2 series the following year. He is only one of 5 drivers to win the Formula 2 championship in their rookie year. As we can all see, he's had his fair share of well earned success in his career.
It was these achievements that allowed him the opportunity to test drive a Formula 1 car for Williams in 2007. He was lapping faster than the current driver for Williams, Kazuki Nakajima and this performance earnt him a signed contract to be a test driver, and eventually reserve driver, for Williams.
His Formula 1 career took off from there, starting in 2010 he drove for Williams, Force India, Sauber and currently Renault.
In his rookie season he went on to take pole at the Brazilian Grand Prix, setting a lap just over 1 second faster then Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel. At the end of this season it was announced that he would no longer be driving for Williams but was given a contract at Force India to be a test driver for the 2011 season. As that drew to a close, he was then officially given a racing seat at that team for the 2012 season.
His determination and drive was shown in this season as alongside out qualifying his teammate Paul Di Resta, he also finished 17 points ahead of him. Doors were opening for this upcoming driver and his career at Force India momentarily came to halt when he moved to Sauber in 2013. Right after this season ended he went back to Force India from 2014-2016. On 14 June 2015, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race and this made him the first active driver to win since 1991.
In late 2016 Renault had announced that Hulkenberg had signed a multi-year contract with them and unfortunately after 3 years with the team he has been replaced by French driver Esteban Ocon.
Needless to say he will be an extremely missed driver after an incredible 9 years in Formula 1 and now we wait to see what path the German decides to take.