Nico Hulkenberg will be dual reserve driver for both Aston Martin and Mercedes this season, he has confirmed.
The German driver has been without a permanent seat on the Formula 1 grid since the 2019 season when he raced with Renault and finished P14 in the Drivers’ standings.
He did get the chance to race three times in 2020, though, with Racing Point due to Sergio Perez testing positive for coronavirus and Lance Stroll feeling unwell later in the season.
Hulkenberg first had the chance to fill in at the British Grand Prix, but an engine failure meant he did not start the race.
However, the two later opportunities where he did make it to the starting grid, he impressed and finished P7 and P8.
There were some suggestions that Red Bull may consider him as Alex Albon’s replacement, but that did not come to fruition and he did not get a full-time seat anywhere else.
Speaking to Austrian channel ServusTV during the opening race weekend, he confirmed: “[I will work] as a reserve driver for Aston Martin and also for Mercedes in selected races.”
Mercedes do already have two reserve drivers in Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries, but both have Formula E commitments and that is why Toto Wolff’s team were looking to add another man to the staff, just in case they clashed.
As things stands, there are three occasions where that will happen, with the grands prix in Spain, Monaco and Azerbaijan all falling on weekends where Formula E also has races.
Hulkenberg certainly is not a bad option to have waiting in the wings for both Mercedes and Aston Martin, given that he has 178 race starts to his name, although he is yet to secure a podium finish.