Nico Hulkenberg drove yet another spectacular race as he crossed the line in P8 after starting from P20 at the Nurburgring. Although the German grabbed onto every chance he had gotten during this season, he has still been unsuccessful in finding a drive for the next season. Hulkenberg felt that Formula 1 doesn’t need him anymore, as there are enough drivers already available in the sport.
Speaking to automotorundsport.de, Hulkenberg showed his disappointment in failing to sign a contract with a team for 2021. “Unfortunately, things didn’t go as well after Silverstone. I’m not under the hood yet,” Hulkenberg said. “Maybe Formula 1 already has enough quality drivers and doesn’t need me anymore.”
But the German also clarified that he not looking at retiring at the moment. “No. Not at all. I’m still there. But that’s just the process that has been going on for a long time,” he added. “There is an oversupply of drivers. Many are looking around the market. And then there are also drivers who are economically attractive for certain teams.”
In a worst-case scenario, if Hulkenberg cannot find a seat in Formula 1 for the next season, he still has the option of being a reserve driver for the Racing Point.
Despite playing the role of a reserve driver for pretty much this entire season, Nico Hulkenberg mentioned that being a full-time driver is still his priority. “That’s not what I’m striving for. Sure, Corona has changed the world, including in Formula 1. There are some teams that pushed this on, on a more permanent basis,” Hulkenberg said.
“But nobody tells you anything that clearly. Sometimes they want, sometimes they don’t. In principle, a regular seat has priority for me.”
But Hulkenberg denied the possibility of getting himself into the Red Bull club through Helmut Marko. “Difficult, very difficult. I am not given a lot of hope. That was now an exceptional situation. Not one in the driver pool can switch back and forth on a GP weekend because AlphaTauri also needs its drivers. They just can’t pull off a driver and say to the other team: See how you get along.”
With teams like Haas, AlphaTauri, and Alfa Romeo yet to reveal their drivers’ line-up, Hulkenberg can still find his way back up onto the grid for the next season. Although there are many more drivers competing for the seats, Hulkenberg’s performances over his career will help him stand out from the competition.
(The quotes are translated from German using Google Translate)