Hulkenberg expects 2020 Renault stay, remains positive about future

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Nico Hulkenberg has predicted he will stay at Renault in 2020 amid rumours over his future.

Earlier this year, he was considered as a potential replacement for Pierre Gasly at Red Bull in one of the more far-fetched rumours, and more recently, Esteban Ocon has been linked to his seat for next season.

“We will see what happens in the future and to me as well,” he said in Thursday's press conference ahead of the German Grand Prix.

“For now there is nothing set in stone, but I think it’s quite likely that I will remain with the team [for 2020].”

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It has been a tricky season for Renault and Hulkenberg as early reliability problems have been followed by a lack of big results.

“It’s fair to say that so far this season we can’t be entirely happy with what we have achieved,” he said, with a best finish of seventh in Australia and Canada.

“To start with we had a lot of issues and missed out on results, a little more disappointing is where we are in terms of pace, it’s not really where we needed it and wanted it to be.

“We’re behind expectations this year, and if you look across the three years, we can’t be entirely happy with everything that we have done.

“Nevertheless the outlook is still good," he insisted. "We see light at the end of the tunnel and believe we can still catch up to some extent, how much is always difficult to say with entire certainty.”

Currently, Renault sits 21 points behind McLaren in the battle for fourth in the Constructors' standings, but Hulkenberg concluded by claiming that doesn't tell the whole story.

"I think probably we could have been right up there with them if you add up the complications we had and the missed results,” he stressed.

“We should be there or thereabouts but I think for sure McLaren look very strong at the moment and are probably one of our main competitors that we will be battling with from here until towards the end.”