Nico Hulkenberg had fighting words for Daniel Ricciardo.
Nico Hulkenberg had fighting words for Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo’s new teammate issues warning

Nico Hulkenberg has admitted he must "find another gear" if he is going to beat new Renault teammate Daniel Ricciardo next season, but had some strong words of fight for the Australian.

The German has predominantly been a driver lost in the midfield pack for most of his career but was 'the best of the rest' in 2018, finishing top of the Drivers' Championship when you remove the big six contenders.

However, next year will see one of those big six driving alongside him in the Renault overalls after Ricciardo's shock decision to leave Red Bull.

Hulkenberg has already stated that he will not shirk the challenge Ricciardo presents him as he looks to prove himself as a driver capable of driving for a top team.

"Bring it on - we all cook with water, I'm not scared of anyone," said Hulkenberg about facing Ricciardo next year.

"Probably it will be very challenging and I might have to find another gear, but let's see what happens."

Hulkenberg has a good record when it comes to outscoring his teammates having done the same with McLaren's new recruit Carlos Sainz.

And despite being happy with his efforts last season, Hulkenberg insists his main focus is the progression of the team, rather than just himself.

"I guess it's always important - people, outsiders, look at that [teammate comparison] more," he said.

"People inside the team, they know more obviously about what's really going on. But, yeah - it's good, I'm happy - it's much more important that the team and the car progression happens."