Renault chief Marcin Budkowski claims Nico Hulkenberg is looking forward to battling it out with Daniel Ricciardo this coming season.
The Enstone-based Formula 1 outfit pulled off a major coup when they enticed the Australian to leave Red Bull at the end of the 2018 campaign to replace Carlos Sainz.
Ricciardo will be Hulkenberg’s third team-mate in as many years with Renault, but a significant step up in quality from Sainz and Jolyon Palmer.
The 29-year-old has seven F1 race wins, 29 podiums and three pole positions and Budkowski feels it will help motivate Hulkenberg to improve as a driver.
He said: “I think for Nico having Daniel coming in with his reputation as a very quick driver, a very good driver and a very good overtaker but also someone who has proved themselves as a race winner, I think he sees it as an opportunity to prove himself.
“His reaction wasn’t at all unhappy that someone of the calibre of Daniel was coming. He was very happy about it and he feels it is a great opportunity for himself to show what he’s capable of.
“I think we are going to have an interesting interaction in terms of two drivers that have never been competing against each other in the same team and that are both highly-rated. But I don’t expect that to be a problematic relationship.”