Hulkenberg’s F1 career all but over
Friday 10th September, 2021 - 5:34pm
Nico Hulkenberg’s Formula 1 career appears over after the German veteran admitted he won’t be on the grid next year.
Having been dropped by Renault (now Alpine) in favour of Esteban Ocon at the end of 2019, the situation at one stage appeared promising for a Hulkenberg comeback.
However, with Williams opting for Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi as its 2022 line-up and just about all other seats accounted for, Hulkenberg is realistic.
Barring any sudden change of situation with Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin, Valtteri Bottas’ future team-mate at Alfa Romeo is all that’s left to be sorted.
“There are no talks with Alfa Romeo,” Hulkenberg told German publication Bild.
“After all, that would have been the last option for a permanent seat in 2022, after all the other cockpits have been allocated.”
Hulkenberg had previously told the same publication, “if it doesn’t work out now, then the chapter of Formula 1 is closed for me” – which now seems the case.
Now 34, he debuted for Williams in 2010 on the back of winning the previous year’s GP2 title.
Solid stints have followed at Force India, Sauber and Renault, although infamously collecting the record for most F1 starts without a podium along the way.
Hulkenberg made three substitute appearances for Racing Point (previously Force India, now Aston Martin) in 2020 and has this year been a reserve driver for both Aston Martin and Mercedes.
Where his next step will take him is not yet known, although he does have a record of success in endurance racing – he triumphed in his sole 24 Hours of Le Mans start in 2015.