The Le Mans 24 Hours winner joins Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and 13-time Grand Prix winner David Coulthard on the growing entry list for the multi-car meeting, which also includes current MotoGP championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, sportscar legend Tom Kristensen and former world rally champion Petter Solberg.
As well as making his ROC debut, Hulkenberg will join forces with Vettel in the popular Nations Cup event. The duo, who will represent Team Germany, will enter the contest as one of the favourites for victory, with Vettel having captured six successive wins partnering Michael Schumacher between 2007 and 2012.
“I’ve had a very good year so far and I’m very excited to be making my Race Of Champions debut,” said Hulkenberg. “I’ve always wanted to take part but it never worked out so now I’m really happy to be a part of it and looking forward to it.
“I’m obviously stepping into big shoes to replace Michael Schumacher, which is a huge honour as well. I feel very happy and positive about that and it will be fun to team up with Seb and race and fight for Team Germany.
“The ROC track is very narrow and tight, a bit like racing on a street circuit. But it’s still quick and dynamic and entertaining to watch. There’s going to be quite a bit of car-hopping, adapting and adjusting from one machine to another. They’re all quite different so I don’t really know what to expect. But I guess I’ll get dumped into the cold water and then I’ll have to figure out how to swim…”
Hulkenberg’s new team mate Vettel added: “It’s obviously very sad that Michael can’t join us again but in his absence it’s great to have Nico as a partner on Team Germany this year.
“I have massive respect for what he did in the Le Mans 24 Hours - to win it on his first attempt is very impressive. That’s a great race to watch because the race is long yet they race flat out from the first lap for the whole of the race. The Race Of Champions is at the other end of the scale in terms of distance but I can assure Nico we push just as hard!”
The Race of Champions takes place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on November 20-21.