DTM boss, Gerhard Berger, tried but ultimately failed to set up an ex-Formula 1 line-up which consisted of Nico Hulkenberg and Jacques Villeneuve.
According to Autosport, Berger wanted to bring more eyes to the DTM product by attracting some very familiar names from the world of Formula 1.
1997 World Champion, Villeneuve, was one of the names on Berger’s list of potential candidates and it is believed the 49-year-old Canadian was interested in a driver role.
However, Hulkenberg, who acted as somewhat of a super-sub for Racing Point in 2020 following his departure from Renault in 2019, has made it clear that he wants to keep himself circulating within Formula 1 circles to aid a potential full-time return to the grid in 2022.
To help with that aim, Hulkenberg is set to become a reserve driver for Mercedes and be shared with customer team Aston Martin.
thinking about this year and for sure the #hulkenback 2.0 was my special sporting moment .. finishing P8 and becoming driver of the day after no practice session and P20 on the Grid 🤠.. still a bit unreal, like all that happened in 2020 🤔 take care & stay positive everyone! pic.twitter.com/VW6KXTdlET
— Nico Hülkenberg (@HulkHulkenberg) December 31, 2020
“For me, it’s about staying in the Formula One orbit this year,” Hulkenberg told Autosport.
“To make the most of the opportunity when it comes. And look again, with one eye on 2022: Is there something again? Is there another comeback?”
Hulkenberg appeared on DTM’s radar after he took part in a private test inside a Lamborghini Huracan at the Nurburgring in 2020, but the health pandemic ensured that the proposed Lamborghini project fell apart after a Swiss investment group withdrew its intention to help fund it.
“Sponsors don’t want to and can’t commit if they don’t know if they can even go about their business,” Berger recently said.
“Nobody knows the economic future. We don’t know if we can plan with spectators and if so, to what extent, under what conditions.”
DTM will have some Formula 1 presence, at least, via the arrival of Alex Albon. The Red Bull reserve driver will be taking part in selected races when they do not clash with his Formula 1 commitments.