Aston Martin remaining ‘close’ to Hulkenberg, just in case

Aston Martin F1 has yet to name its reserve driver for the 2021 season, but team boss Otmar Szafnauer says super sub Nico Hulkenberg could fulfill the role.

Hulkenberg was called upon by Team Silverstone to replace Sergio Perez at Silverstone’s double-header last year after the Mexican was sidelined for two races by COVID-19.

But later in the season, when teammate Lance Stroll was also hit with a bout of the coronavirus, Racing Point again recruited the German driver to substitute for the Canadian at the Eifel GP.

Asked recently by broadcaster RTL if Hulkenberg would be standing in the wings this season, Szafnauer said: “Could very well be. There is nothing to announce yet but watch this space.

“We are close to Nico and we are in discussions with him. That would be great for us all.”

    Read also: Aston Martin expecting ‘great partnership’ between Vettel and Stroll

As a free agent, Hulkenberg would likely welcome any opportunity to return to the fray, as long as it’s with a front-running or top midfield team.

Hulkenberg started 179 Grands Prix during his decade-long career in F1 but never finished on the podium, so the 33-year-old would likely welcome an opportunity to jump back into the fray, if such a chance came about with a front-running or top midfield team.

Following Hulkenberg’s run in the points with Racing Point at Silverstone and at the Nürburgring, many in the paddock lamented his full-time absence from the grid.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said last year that Hulkenberg had been “briefly” considered by the Milton Keynes-based outfit before its decision to replace Alex Albon with Sergio Perez.

“There was a brief discussion with Nico Hulkenberg,” Horner said at the end of last year, insisting the Hulk was “a capable driver that should really have a seat in F1”.

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