Hulkenberg open to IndyCar outings in 2020

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg has admitted he’s open to opportunities in IndyCar next season as he faces the growing prospect of his Formula 1 career coming to an end.

The German is without a drive for 2020 after Renault opted to sign Esteban Ocon to partner Daniel Ricciardo.

With Red Bull having confirmed it will retain an unchanged line-up across its two teams, and Hulkenberg having previously dismissed rejoining Williams, it seems the 32-year-old’s F1 career is set to come to a close.

However, a lifeline could come courtesy of road course IndyCar outings in the United States.

“I have not signed anything and I won’t do in the foreseeable future,” Hulkenberg said.

“I received several calls from different series’ teams, but nothing is really happening at the moment.

“I guess, yes (IndyCar is a consideration, but) to be honest, my state of mind is pretty relaxed.

“I want to finish the season as successfully as possible. And after that rewind a little bit, take a moment or two or three for myself, see what I want to do, see what seems of interest.

“I am certainly not having the feeling that I want to rush into something just to race.”

Hulkenberg has been linked with a move to Ed Carpenter Racing for next season, but while some corners of the media suggest it would be a full-time ride, he remains less convinced.

“Ovals, I have always said I am not a fan of it; it just doesn’t strike me… It just seems like it’s not my thing. I’d keep it limited to the road courses,” he explained.

The other option is to sit a year out in the hope of a return in 2021, though Hulkenberg concedes there are no guarantees on that front either.

“Sabbatical, I don’t know what you want to call it… a decade in F1 is intense, living at that high pace,” he said.

“So that is why I just need to see how I feel once the new year starts, and how things develop and evolve, in which direction.

“Right now I just don’t know, and I don’t want to think about it too much right now because I am still here.”

The Brazilian Grand Prix begins with practice from 0100 AEDT Saturday.

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