Nico Hulkenberg: Toto Wolff had suggested they could rope in the German driver as a reserve driver, and now Nico has responded to it.
Nico Hulkenberg had a good comeback to Formula 1 with Racing Point earlier this season. He couldn’t start one race due to a power unit failure but did well to finish in the top 10 in the other race.
His performance has certainly impressed the paddock, especially the likes of Mercedes, Alfa Romeo and Haas. While Mercedes are in the lookout for a reserve driver, the latter two could potentially offer Nico main driving seats. And according to Hulkenberg, he would rather race with a small team than be a reserve at Mercedes. He also revealed he has been in touch with a few teams, with results expected next month, or later.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of people since the beginning of the year, and Silverstone hasn’t changed that much. The talks are definitely positive, but there is nothing concrete to report. I think it will take a few more weeks”
— Alfa Romeo F1 Team (@AlfaRomeoF1Fan) August 11, 2020
“I do not see myself in the role of reserve driver. I’ve been sitting in the cockpit for ten years, standing at traffic lights. Then accepting a step backwards without much prospect of a regular drive makes little sense to me.”
What had Toto Wolff said about Nico?
After the races at Silverstone, German team Mercedes’ F1 Boss Toto Wolff was mightily impressed with Hulkenberg. But he couldn’t suggested a main driver seat for him as they have already locked in Valtteri Bottas, with Lewis Hamilton expected to follow suit.
But with Esteban Gutierrez and Stoffel Vandoorne unavailable due to separate reasons, Wolff suggested Nico could fill that gap. It would be prudent for Mercedes to bring in a German driver anyway, for marketing & PR purposes. Wolff also spoke highly of the German’s performance on his comeback after nine months, as quoted by Motorsport-total.com
“He is a good candidate, anyway. A German driver can always be an interesting idea. Also as a reserve driver. I think we just have to look at the situation globally.”
“What he has delivered on Friday was really solid, and what was to be expected on Saturday as part of the positive. I think he sold very well. If you don’t sit in the car for nine months, that’s a very solid performance. I’m sorry he didn’t drive the race.”