Niko Hulkenberg has been revealed as a primary target for Williams if the Valtteri Bottas option doesn’t pan out.
Bottas is in real danger of losing his seat at Mercedes after this season. Williams’ George Russell is the favourite to replace the Finnish driver, in a move that would see the latter come back to Williams. Bottas had been part of Williams for a while, and did excellently at the time.
However, if the reunion doesn’t pan out for the team, they will have to look for another driver. F1 expert Michael Schmidt reckons Williams should target ex-Renault driver Niko Hulkenberg.
Hulkenberg last drove in F1 in 2019. Renault replaced him the following season with young French talent Esteban Ocon. He became a reserve driver for Racing Point, and drove for them in three races. There, he managed ten points.
Schmidt thinks that if the deal for Bottas doesn’t pan out, Williams should seriously target Hulkenberg for the seat.
“Williams are looking for an experienced driver. If it’s not Bottas, I think Nico Hulkenberg has a good chance,” Schmidt said.
All options available
According to the official Formula 1 website, Jost Capito was asked about Williams’ future plans. He was also asked if Hulkenberg was on the shortlist for the 2022 season.
“I think at the moment, we do not exclude any driver who would be available next year, and Nico is available for next year, so we’ve got quite a long list,” Capito said.
“The main thing is, we want to have the best drivers that are available and interested to drive for Williams and interested in doing the job for Williams.
“It’s not definitely the driver who wants to be world champion next year. For us, he would be in the wrong team,” Capito concluded.
Everything is still very much up in the air for Russell, Bottas and Hulkenberg. In the coming weeks, we will come to know how everything pans out for these drivers.