Renault claim Hulkenberg put off 2020 Haas seat due to a lack of potential

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Renault believes the lack of immediate potential was why Nico Hulkenberg didn't pursue a move to Haas for 2020.

The German is looking to secure his motorsport future after his current seat at the French manufacturer was given to Esteban Ocon for next year.

Haas was seen as one of the more likely alternatives but that avenue closed when they announced a continuation with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen back in Singapore.

“You have to look at what stage Nico’s career is at,” Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul told Russia's Championat.

“He’s also not the kind of the person who is willing to be in Formula 1 just to be in Formula 1.

“For him, Formula 1 is an ambition, a journey, not just a place to be. For him, the goals to be achieved are important, like the goals we have in our team.

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“Nico is professional and experienced enough to understand that he is unlikely to be able to achieve those goals at Haas.

“I do not want to show any disrespect to Haas, but he would not have achieved his desired results there and I think Nico can be an example as he is not someone who lacks ambition.”

It's true that despite having a strong car over a single lap for portions of 2019, the American squad has struggled as they currently sit ninth in the Constructors' standings.

Looking longer-term, there is also question marks about their financial future with this year's result likely to hurt Haas even more due to the reduction in prize money.

“As always, if you lose out on big money like this, you always have to put your thinking hat on how not to waste money next year,” Steiner was quoted by PlanetF1.

“It’s not an existential problem, but for sure it’s not like ‘yeah, it doesn’t matter’.

“It’s something between – we need to manage it, it’s never a nice thing to manage less money, as we all know.”

Haas also lost title sponsor Rich Energy after a controversial partnership, but Steiner confirmed Haas Automation would fill that financial gap.

As for Hulkenberg, his options are limited to Alfa Romeo and a very slim chance at Red Bull, otherwise, he'll be looking elsewhere for 2020.