Hulk eager to return, Ferrari is ‘next life’ dream

Michelle Foster
Nico Hulkenberg PA

Nico Hulkenberg PA

Nico Hulkenberg is not giving up on a F1 comeback, saying he is “very much up for it” if an offer materialises.

Hulkenberg lost his place on the grid at the end of the 2019 season, losing his Renault ride to Esteban Ocon.

He failed to score in his final race in Abu Dhabi but did extend his unwanted record for the most starts, 177, without a single podium result.

Having learnt of his Renault axing, Hulkenberg entered talks with Haas but his salary demands reportedly quashed that move.

He was also linked to Alfa Romeo but, like Haas, the team decided to retain its line up for 2020.

That meant a year on the sidelines for the German, although he is hopeful of returning to the grid in 2021.

“I think that’s to be confirmed,” he told CNN.

“I’m very much up for it, that’s still my goal and my aim. At the moment it’s really tricky to say.

“There are a lot of factors in there and now everything is kind of upside-down anyway. But I’m staying in contact with people.

“It’s still a bit early but if there is a chance, I will definitely grab it.

“If it’s a good opportunity and something that really excites me, gets me going, then definitely I will push for that.”

The 32-year-old does have one requirement, though, making it clear he won’t join a back-of-the-grid team.

“[I would like] a decent car that gives you a good opportunity to compete,” he said.

“I’m not saying for victories, but a car that allows you to at least go for the top ten.”

Could Ferrari be on an option given the team may yet part ways with Sebastian Vettel?

“That’ll only be happening in my next life, I’m afraid… If we’re realistic and honest, I don’t see that,” Hulkenberg replied.

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