Nico Hulkenberg ‘Deliberately Said No’ to F1 Teams Offering 2020 Seats

February 19, 2021 4:00 pm

Nico Hulkenberg earned a solid reputation of being a ‘super substitute’ in the 2020 F1 season. Called up to replace both Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll in 2020, the German did a great job considering the circumstances.

But despite the few opportunities, he would have wanted to re-join the grid as a full-timer. Over the course of last year, he was linked with quite a few teams such as Haas, Alfa Romeo and even Red Bull Racing.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with GQ, Hulkenberg has now explained that he turned down the chance to return to F1 on purpose. He also believes that the break of nearly a year was very ‘welcome’ for him.

Have had a good ten years in Formula 1, said Nico Hulkenberg

He stated, “That didn’t come, that’s true. There were discussions, but it just didn’t fit together.” (translated via Google Translate)

“That’s why I said to myself: Don’t just continue somehow at any cost, but get off for a year – also at the risk of not coming back at all.”

2019 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (19 September 2019) – Zone 1 – Paddock Club – Drivers’ Autograph Session RenaultÕs Nico Hulkenberg Singapore Grand Prix via Reuters Plus

Reports suggested Hulkenberg could move to Alfa Romeo until the Swiss outfit confirmed Antonio Giovinazzi for 2021. Similarly, a move to Red Bull was also on the cards, till the team went ahead with Sakhir GP winner, Sergio Perez.

“I’ve had a good ten years in Formula 1 and now I’m not the type of person who wants to keep on driving. Especially not in the back just to be there. So I deliberately said no and came to a point where this break was very welcome for me personally,” concluded the 33-year-old.

Hulkenberg achieved two points finishes from his three F1 races in 2020

Receiving last-minute call-ups to race without practice sessions is always a tough task for any F1 driver. But that did not prove to be the case for Hulkenberg, who achieved points finishes at Silverstone and later at the Nurburgring.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – DECEMBER 13: Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Racing Point RP20 Mercedes during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Strapping into the Racing Point car, the German utilized all of his experience and showed his ability and class on the track. Considering his limited chances, he did very well to attract potential suitors.

Hulkenberg might have to make do with substitute appearances for the time being. But F1 fans will hope he can soon become a permanent part of the grid.

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Bhargav Gopal

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune. Bhargav is quite a genius in his field, having won the All-India Marketing Case Study Competition 2015. He also loves to combine his love for marketing and sports by taking part in competitions like Knockout: Sports Marketing Case Study by IIM Ahmedabad.

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