New Jersey organizers still believe in 2014 chance

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The organizers of the planned F1 street race in New Jersey still believe they will be on the 2014 calendar despite being left off a draft schedule last month.

“We never had any expectation of being on a preliminary schedule,” race promoter Leo Hindery Jnr told Sporting Life.

“The calendar decision will be made later this month, and although I can’t guarantee anything, we fully expect to be on it.”

It’s almost two years since the original announcement of the ambitious plan to bring Formula One to the Hudson River waterfront, in sight of the famed Manhattan skyline.

Although F1 has accepted the possibility of holding a second race in the USA alongside the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, the first attempt to get the race on the calendar this year failed.

“Hands down this has been the toughest challenge of my career,” Hindery admitted.

He said Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone is behind the project, providing they deliver everything on time: “Bernie told us if we stayed consistent with the rules and applications then he would expect there to be a New Jersey race.”

“Time-wise, we have done everything we have been told to do, and when to do it.”

New Jersey is one of four venues vying to join the calendar next year, along with Austria, Mexico and Russia.

F1 2017 driver review: Nico Hulkenberg

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Nico Hulkenberg

Team: Renault
Car No.: 27
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Spain, Great Britain, Belgium, Abu Dhabi)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 43
Championship Position: 10th

Expectations were hard to peg for Renault heading into its second full season back in F1 with a factory team, but Nico Hulkenberg was surely expected to be the man spearheading its charge.

With teammate Jolyon Palmer severely underperforming, Hulkenberg did exactly that, bringing home all but 14 of the team’s points in the final standings. However, consistency was never something he truly found.

Many of Renault’s issues were down to reliability issues, sidelining Hulkenberg for six races – four coming in a five-race stint from Singapore to Mexico – yet he only scored points in consecutive races on three occasions.

When Hulkenberg and Renault were on form, they proved to be a potent combination, often topping the midfield fight and even looking faster than Force India come the end of the season. His run to sixth at the final race in Abu Dhabi was crucial for the constructors’ championship as Renault jumped Toro Rosso, securing an extra slice of prize money in the process.

But for a driver who was so often tipped as being a future star in F1, Hulkenberg still has a lot to prove. Renault is set to offer a good platform for the German moving forward with factory support, yet if he cannot beat new teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. through 2018, concerns will surely be raised.

Season High: Charging to sixth in Abu Dhabi despite a penalty.

Season Low: A tough run to 16th in Malaysia.