Hulk reveals Alfa Romeo talks for 2021 return

Jon Wilde
Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg was given only 10 minutes’ notice that Sergio Perez would be announced instead of him as a Red Bull driver next year.

Nico Hulkenberg has revealed one of the teams with whom he is discussing a full-time Formula 1 return is Alfa Romeo.

The German has taken part at the last two rounds of the 2020 F1 World Championship, standing in at Racing Point for Sergio Perez who tested positive for COVID-19.

The two weekends at Silverstone were something of a roller-coaster for ‘The Hulk’. At the British Grand Prix he was competitive in free practice and qualifying but could not start the race when the team failed to fire up his car due to a sheared clutch bolt.

He bounced back from that disappointment to qualify in a terrific P3 for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix and collected six points by going on to finish seventh.

Dropped by Renault at the end of 2019, Hulkenberg was left on the substitutes’ bench for this year – but having made a positive impact as Perez’s replacement he is now eyeing a place on the grid in 2021.

Options are not exactly plentiful, but Alfa Romeo could be one. There remains a major doubt about whether 40-year-old Kimi Raikkonen will continue, while Hulkenberg knows team boss Frederic Vasseur well – they combined for F3 and GP2 title successes in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Get your hands on the official Alfa Romeo 2020 collection via the Formula 1 shop

Asked on the F1 Nation podcast whether Alfa Romeo would interest him, 32-year-old Hulkenberg replied: “Yes, yes is the short answer. I mean, doing a deal, there’s several terms that play into it – it’s the whole package, I guess.

“I’m very keen to go racing again in Formula 1. I still love it here, it’s my passion. I’m not desperate but I’d certainly love to come back and be racing again. I’ve been talking to Fred [Vasseur] quite frequently in the last few months.”

During the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix weekend, Hulkenberg had said: “I’ve been in contact with quite a few people from the F1 industry, and team principals, because obviously we all know each other.

“Some is just casual chat, some is more about the future subject. So I’m definitely in discussions and in talks there, but nothing to say concrete yet.

“I guess it’s still a matter of a couple of weeks before things will get a bit more concrete and firm.”

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