Nico Hulkenberg is back at Aston Martin as their team’s official reserve and development driver for the 2021 season. This was the same role he previously carried out too when the team was known as Racing Point in 2020.
The former Williams, Sauber and Renault driver substituted Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll for three races back in 2020 when they both had tested positive for COVID-19.
Currently, Hulkenberg can expect to drive in place of either Stroll or new recruit Sebastian Vettel in the event that they miss out on a race during the season.
“First of all, it’s great to get this deal signed up with plenty of notice – last year, I didn’t have quite as much time to prepare before jumping in the car,” Hulkenberg said upon official confirmation.
“I’m really pleased to once again work with this team – with whom I have driven many times during my career.
“Obviously, I’m hoping that Sebastian and Lance enjoy uninterrupted seasons this year, but the team knows it can rely on me to step in and do an excellent job, and I’m fully prepared to take on that challenge.
“It will also be interesting to help develop the team through the season, and I’m really looking forward to pulling great lap-times out of my arm sleeve.”
Even though Hulkenberg’s role is strictly a reserve one at the moment, he is most likely next in line to replace Vettel in case he continues to struggle with the team.
“Just to add a little more pressure on Seb’s shoulders,” Button wrote on social media.
After filling in for Perez at the two Silverstone races back in 2020, Hulkenberg revealed that he had no interest in staying a reserve driver anymore.
“I personally do not see myself in the role of reserve driver,” he said during an appearance on the AvD Motorsport Magazine show.
“I sat in a race cockpit for ten years and stood at the start lights, so accepting a step backwards without much chance of getting back in makes little sense to me. That’s not the path I want to take.”
Do you think Hulkenberg has what it takes to drive as a primary? Let us know in the comments below!