Nico Hulkenberg admits he’s interested to see how new Renault team mate Daniel Ricciardo and himself measure up against each other this year.
The pair head into their first season together, although they are well acquainted, regularly crossing paths in Monte-Carlo where both drivers reside.
The hype surrounding Ricciardo’s arrival at Renault has put Hulkenberg a bit in the Aussie’s shadow.
The German is no slouch however, and the French team’s line-up will make for a fascinating observation.
“It will be interesting to see if he kicks my ass or not,” Hulkenberg joked at Renault’s launch at Enstone on Tuesday.
“It’s great to have a seven-time Grand Prix winner. It’s definitely a good comparison and really interesting.”
Hulkenberg also admitted he was looking forward to learning from his illustrious team mate, but perhaps not on the topics most would suspect.
“I’m looking to learn some Aussie slang!” he joked, during a Facebook Live Q&A.
“I’ve got the basics, we’re just progressing from there. It never gets boring with Riccardo, we’ve had a good amount of laughs already.
“It’s good to get started now, exciting times.”
On a more serious note, Hulkenberg said that Ricciardo’s presence confers a special importance to the 2019 season.
“It’s obviously going to be a personal challenge for me, to stand up to that and see where I compare against him,” said the Hulk, speaking to ESPN.
“It’s very important for my sporting future, we all know the team makes comparisons. But you got to stay relaxed, I’m here and I want to do the best I can for myself, for my career.
“I’m aware it’s going to be difficult against him, because he’s fast, he’s smart, he’s got everything a good race driver needs. I don’t need to hide, but I probably need to bring my best game to be able to challenge him.”