Hulkenberg proud to survive in F1's pay driver era

In his ninth Formula One season, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg is proud to have stuck around for so long during the pay driver era.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg   -  Getty Images

Nico Hulkenberg is proud to have "survived" Formula One's pay driver era.

The Renault man, formerly of Williams, Sauber and Force India, is enjoying his ninth season in the sport and at the mid-year break sits seventh in the 2018 standings with 52 points - the 'best of the rest' behind the duos from Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

Over the years, several drivers - including the likes of Marcus Ericsson, Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez - have all enjoyed significant financial backing from third parties to help find a way onto the grid.

But Hulkenberg is happy that his ability has consistently been considered good enough to merit a race seat.

"In a way that is an achievement," he told Autosport.

"To still be here and have survived that, I think it does say something about me and the driver I am.

"At the same time that sounds a bit s*** also. And boring, you know? I want more.

"But we know that you need to have the right timing, you need to be in the right car in the right moment. That's why I am here now. My career is not done.

"I have a very good team partner with Renault now, and obviously we have a target together and a vision that we're fighting hard for and working for."

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