In Brief

F1: Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg to replace Pierre Gasly at Red Bull?

Mature Verstappen praised by Horner as Ferrari’s Leclerc looks forward after Monaco nightmare

Hulk to Red Bull in 2020?

Italian media is claiming that Red Bull Racing are lining up Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg as Pierre Gasly’s replacement for the 2020 Formula 1 season.

Since stepping up from Toro Rosso, Gasly has struggled to match teammate Max Verstappen, leaving Red Bull are looking for a “back-up” solution, Planet F1 reports.

At the age of 31, Hulkenberg is a surprise name to be linked with Red Bull, who usually promote from within their set-up.

But GPBlog.com says that Helmut Marko’s “patience is running thin” with Gasly and that the Red Bull advisor is “weighing up options”.  

Motorsport.com Italia’s Roberto Chinchero says that Gasly has not yet reached the “comfort zone” at Red Bull, and German driver Hulkenberg will be available at the end of the season when his Renault contract runs out.

This season Daniel Ricciardo moved the other way, becoming Hulkenberg’s teammate at Renault after the Australian left Red Bull.

Mature Max leads the way

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has praised Max Verstappen for stepping up as No.1 driver and for his evolving role in the development of the team’s car.  

Quoted by GPFans.com, Horner said: “Since Montreal last year he’s really just stepped things up a gear and he’s been a phenomenal force whenever he’s been in the car. The way he started this season has been outstanding.

“He’s overachieved in certain aspects and I think he’s got that roundedness of maturity and is very much leading the team development-wise.

“I think he’s enjoying and relishing that role as well, so if you compare Max to the equivalent time last year, he’s evolved a tremendous amount and I think that’s again the benefit of experience as well.”

Leclerc: things will get better

Charles Leclerc is optimistic that he and Ferrari can recover from their “nightmare” race at the Monaco Grand Prix, Sky Sports reports.

The 21-year-old failed to finish in his home race, but says he is looking forward to the next F1 grand prix in Canada on 9 June.

Speaking in Monaco, Leclerc said: “I just get on with it, I cannot change it anymore. It’s just how it is. Unfortunately, it’s a shame it happens at home, especially on a track like Monaco.

“We knew it would be a difficult day, which it has been, and now we need to look forward. I’m pretty sure that we need to keep working and the next weekends will be better.”

F1 news headlines

What the media is writing about in the world of Formula 1:

  • 2020 driver ‘silly season’ kicking off (Grandpx.news)
  • Niki Lauda: F1 stars attend Mass for late racing legend in Austria (BBC
  • Hamilton’s questionable Monaco GP strategy explained by Mercedes (GPFans
  • Hamilton expects first Mercedes F1 engine upgrade for Canadian GP (Autosport
  • Full-time McLaren 2020 IndyCar entry ‘highly unlikely’ (Motorsport Week
  • Abiteboul: 2021 F1 rules at “80% or 90%” (Crash.net)

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