Nico Hulkenberg faces yet another year sitting on the sidelines. The German driver who last raced for Renault in 2019 couldn’t find a seat for 2021, despite some impressive performances subbing in at Racing Point last year. Nevertheless, there have been rumors in recent times that Nico could link up with the newly rebranded Aston Martin team.
The role, however, wouldn’t be as a starting driver. Aston Martin already have Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll as their incumbents. But team boss Otmar Szafnauer confirmed that they are in talks with Hulkenberg for the role of test and reserve driver.
Hulkenberg too hinted that talks are in progress but knowing it won’t be a starting role, he isn’t overly excited.
He said (translated via Google)“Sebastian already has a team-mate, so it (I) won’t really go into the car, that’s a fact.”
Perhaps the timing of Hulkenberg’s substitute roles worked against him. His performances certainly caught the eye, but since most of them came closer to the start of the season, teams would have quickly forgotten about it considering the immense action and drama we witnessed through the course of the season.
However, the German isn’t giving up on his F1 ambitions just yet.
The ex-Force India driver revealed he is counting on some more super sub appearances this year to put his name up in lights for next season.
He said, “I would like to stay in Formula 1 orbit and try to find a permanent cockpit for 2022 after all. Who knows what’s going to happen this year. I just let it come to me and then I just have to do it again like in 2020.”
Reports have emerged suggesting that a couple of new teams could join the grid for 2022. One being a team that’s planned to represent Monaco. Hulkenberg would definitely be the most desirable uncontracted driver. He’d certainly hope that the F1 grid is expanded so that he can get in on the racing action on a consistent basis.
Until then, Nico would have to contend himself with testing the Aston Martin. Do you think Nico will ever get a chance to score his maiden F1 podium? Let us know in the comments below.