Aston Martin sign last year’s super-sub Nico Hulkenberg as reserve driver for 2021
Super-sub Nico Hulkenberg will have an official full-time role in Formula 1 in 2021, as Aston Martin have signed him up as their reserve and development driver for this season…
The Silverstone-based operation, known as Racing Point last year, called on the German’s services three times in 2020, as a substitute for Sergio Perez and then Lance Stroll when they tested positive for Covid-19.
Hulkenberg failed to start the British Grand Prix, when subbing for Perez, but finished seventh at the same track in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, after qualifying a brilliant P3. He then finished eighth in the Eifel Grand Prix in place of Stroll.
“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,” said Hulkenberg. “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.”
Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer added: “In these difficult times, the requirement for a capable and experienced reserve driver is especially important.
“Nico proved last year that he could jump in the car and perform superbly at a moment’s notice; now, with additional scope for preparation and integration, we know that we can rely on Nico to do an excellent job.”
Hulkenberg has history with the team under previous guises, having raced for them in 2012 and then between 2014 and 2016.
In total, the 33-year-old has plenty of experience with 176 race starts under his belt, with experience driving at Williams, Sauber and Renault alongside his Force India and Racing Point stints.
Hulkenberg will be available to step in for Stroll or his new four-time world champion team mate Sebastian Vettel if required.