“It was really a bit over”– Nico Hulkenberg explains what made his talks with Red Bull end to replace Alex Albon for the 2021 season.
Alex Albon was destined to be ousted by Red Bull this season, courtesy to his underwhelming results across 2020, and there were a set of drivers who were in talks.
Nico Hulkenberg, who, despite not having a seat in 2020, appeared in three Grand Prix for Racing Point, but eventually Red Bull joined forces with Sergio Perez.
Hulkenberg explains that there was a possibility of being hired by Red Bull, but Perez phenomenal performances at the end of the season changed the mind of team leadership.
“That was throughout the second half of last year. But it was the last two races over when Checo [Sergio Perez] started doing really well. There was that victory in Barcelona [Hülkenberg means Bahrain, ed.] And after that it was really a bit over,” said Hulkenberg.
“I better not look, then what am I going to cry,” said Hülkenberg laughing when asked if and how he looks at his Mexican colleague. “I don’t think much about it.”
Aston Martin and Mercedes; opportunities still open
With no team giving him a starting spot in 2021, he was eventually signed by Mercedes and Aston Martin as the reserve driver because Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries are engaged with Formula E and WEC, and they would clash with several F1 Grand Prix this year.
“Mercedes is really just a small job , so to speak. That’s really only for a few races. Stoffel and Nyck drive Formula E and WEC, so they are not available a few times a year . So for those few races I’m the man.”
There is a chance that Sebastian Vettel might fail with Aston Martin, as expectations from him have not reflected on the results, but Hulkenberg is not placing all his eggs on that basket.
“No, I do not think so. I think he will finish the season there. But there is still something to be done there. It still takes a little while and he is not feeling quite well yet, you can see that on the stopwatch. But yes, that is not my decision. ”
And so Hülkenberg is also looking around outside of Formula 1. “If Formula 1 does not continue, then of course I have to see what I’m going to do. Racing is in me, I miss it. “