While Nico Hulkenberg would like a return to Formula 1 beyond his two sub appearances, he does not consider it essential.
With 181 race starts under his belt, Hulkenberg is a very experienced Formula 1 driver although he has not held a full-time seat in the series since 2019.
However, due to the Covid pandemic, several opportunities have come his way to return over the years since.
In 2020, he contested the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone and the Eifel Grand Prix for Racing Point, while he was also called up by the team now known as Aston Martin to contest the first two rounds of 2022 in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia as the replacement for Sebastian Vettel.
Hulkenberg serves as the reserve and development driver for Aston Martin, but would he fancy another crack at being on the Formula 1 grid?
He definitely would, but it is not something he is desperate for.
The Saudi GP could have been Nico Hülkenberg's last race in F1.
He gave a very good account of himself in Bahrain and Jeddah. A shame that things never materialised for him.
— F24 (@Formula24hrs) March 29, 2022
“Of course I miss racing. That’s natural but I’m keen, not desperate,” he said on the subject of an F1 comeback after his P12 finish at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, quoted by GPFans.
“If it’s not to be…I was more or less mentally done with it, and obviously these things now, because of corona, did happen – 2020 and now, and who knows what might happen for the future.
“I see it being quite difficult and tricky to get a drive but if there’s an opportunity, call me.”
Several drivers were visibly exhausted after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, while Haas’ Kevin Magnussen spoke of further issues with his neck during qualifying.
Hulkenberg though explained he has competed in “tougher” races than that one in the past.
“Maybe I’m fitter than expected or because it’s not so hot but I’ve had tougher races, in the heat especially,” he replied when asked if he had encountered problems similar to Magnussen’s.
“Better than expected, so that was good, and I’m very happy and proud of my race. It was clean, faultless. I did everything I could with the car I had.
“Obviously the early Safety Car really compromised my race so we lost out there, which is unfortunate. That’s racing, I guess.
“Although I’ve no idea where I would have finished without it.”
Aston Martin have confirmed that Vettel will be back for the Australian Grand Prix weekend, held from April 8-10, the team saying he is “now fit to race and will therefore line up alongside Lance Stroll in Melbourne to kick off” his season.
Vettel was ‘virtually present’ to help AM in Saudi
Even while isolating, Sebastian Vettel was helping Aston Martin at the Saudi Arabian GP.