The 2021 F1 season is something that the Aston Martin Racing Team is looking forward to with a glimmer of hope. Not only will they compete with fresh resources and under a historic brand name, but also with four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel driving one of its cars.
Amidst all that chatter, there is one name their fans might be forgetting – Nico Hulkenberg.
The general F1 community considers him worthy of a place on the grid, but again, like the previous season, the German finds himself without a drive. Though, in 2020, Racing Point named him as their reserve driver behind Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll.
Since the replacement driver’s role is still vacant at Aston Martin, it leaves us all wondering if they will continue with that relationship once again this season.
Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer offered an optimistic update for Hulkenberg’s fans.
When asked in an exclusive interview with RTL, if he would be their third driver for special situations, Szafnauer replied, “Could very well be. You know, there’s nothing to announce yet. But watch it and you know, we are close with Nico and we are in discussions with him. So, that would be great for us all.”
Nico Hulkenberg rose to the occasion for Racing Point last season
The German shares a special relationship with the workforce at Aston Martin, going back to their Force India days. When Renault announced his departure and he was left without a drive, they offered him a role. He performed admirably when required.
When Perez tested positive for COVID-19 on the eve of the British GP, Nico replaced him for that weekend and the one after. During the 70th Anniversary GP, he out-qualified his teammate and put his car in third place.
More heroics were to come from him, as he replaced Stroll at the Eifel GP when the Canadian felt unwell. Having had no practice sessions, he qualified in last place. However, he finished the race in eighth place and earned the fans’ ‘Driver of the Day’ tag for his monumental efforts.
So, even though he is unfortunately without a regular F1 drive, he should accept this limited offer. For who knows, an opportunity like this could present itself again.
Rising to the occasion once again will only hold him in good stead with any potential suitors.
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