Nico Hulkenberg has joined Aston Martin Racing’s F1 workforce as its reserve and improvement driver, securing a return to the workforce he raced for twice in 2020.
The 33-year-old has began 179 grands prix, of which 81 have come for Aston Martin underneath its earlier guises of Drive India and Racing Level. Final yr’s appearances have been as a last-minute call-up for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll respectively after each examined optimistic for COVID-19, and Aston has now moved to safe Hulkenberg in an official capability this season.
“To begin with, it’s nice to get this deal signed up with loads of discover — final yr, I didn’t have fairly as a lot time to organize earlier than leaping within the automotive!” Hulkenberg stated. “I’m actually happy to as soon as once more work with this workforce, with whom I’ve pushed many instances throughout my profession.
“Clearly, I’m hoping that Sebastian (Vettel) and Lance take pleasure in uninterrupted seasons this yr, however the workforce is aware of it might depend on me to step in and do a superb job, and I’m totally ready to tackle that problem. It should even be fascinating to assist develop the workforce via the season, and I’m actually trying ahead to pulling nice lap instances out of my arm sleeve.”
Crew principal Otmar Szafnauer says it was significantly necessary to make sure this yr’s reserve driver was capable of reply at late discover, with Hulkenberg proving his credentials with a pair of point-scoring finishes in his call-ups final yr.
“We’re delighted to have the ability to welcome Nico again to the workforce in an official capability, as reserve and improvement driver,” Szafnauer stated. “In these troublesome instances, the requirement for a succesful and skilled reserve driver is particularly necessary.
“Nico proved final yr that he may leap within the automotive and carry out beautifully at a second’s discover; now, with extra scope for preparation and integration, we all know that we will depend on Nico to do a superb job.”
Hulkenberg had been linked to a possible race seat at Pink Bull late final yr, and has additionally been touted as an choice for Mercedes ought to both of its reserve drivers — Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries — be unavailable resulting from Components E commitments.