Nico Hülkenberg has confirmed to "Bild" that he no longer sees any chances of a Formula 1 regular cockpit for 2022. The Rhinelander wants to look for a new challenge in other series.
The driver's carousel in Formula 1 turned quickly this year, but only briefly. All vacant cockpits have been filled within the last four weeks. The only place not yet taken is at Alfa Romeo. Valtteri Bottas is looking for a new teammate here. Formula 2 driver Guanyu Zhou has the best chance. The youngster is one of the best Formula 2 drivers. In addition, he is said to have a dowry of 20 million euros in his luggage.
A loser in recent developments in the transfer market is Nico Hulkenberg. The Rhinelander had had hopes of a return to Williams, but team boss Jost Capito ultimately chose Alex Albon. In addition to the sporting qualities, an important argument for the Thai was the financial support he had from Red Bull.
For Hülkenberg, the dream of an F1 comeback seems to have been completely shattered after a year's break. The 34-year-old confirmed to "Bild": "There are no talks with Alfa Romeo. That would have been the last option for a permanent seat in 2022 after all other cockpits have been taken. Life goes on. I have exciting inquiries other series and in no rush to make a decision right now. I'll sort it all out and see how it goes."
IndyCar or Le Mans comeback?
It is still unclear which new challenge the long-time Formula 1 driver is looking for. The Emmericher was said to have had contacts with the IndyCar series in the USA last year, where Romain Grosjean has found a new home and recently also achieved good results.
But the chances are greater that Hülkenberg will try his luck in long-distance sports. Porsche, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Peugeot and Cadillac are all planning to enter the WEC or IMSA premier class. There are a lot of top-class cockpits that need to be filled.
Most racing fans should be aware that Hülkenberg maintains close relationships with Porsche in particular. The 179-time Grand Prix participant won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 2015 with the Zuffenhausen team. A return to the sports car program would be the logical option.
But maybe there is still a small chance that the blonde Schlaks will do a few more laps in the premier class. When asked by auto motor und sport, Aston Martin team boss Otmar Szafnauer confirmed that Hülkenberg would immediately be offered a contract as a replacement driver if the driver had nowhere else to stay.