Nico Hulkenberg has confirmed that he isn’t interested in a reserve or test driver role with any Formula 1 team.
He wasn’t gone for long though after Racing Point drafted him in to cover for Sergio Perez at the British Grand Prix and 70th Anniversary Grand Prix after the Mexican driver tested positive for COVID-19.
And Hulkenberg would put himself firmly back in the Formula 1 conversation with his performances at Silverstone, the highlight qualifying P3 for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix before finishing the race in P7.
Red Bull driver programme chief Helmut Marko has already confirmed that Hulkenberg has contacted them about possibly driving for the team.
But, what Hulkenberg isn’t prepared to do is serve as a test or reserve driver for any team.
“I personally do not see myself in the role of reserve driver,” he said during an appearance on the AvD Motorsport Magazin show.
“I sat in a race cockpit for ten years and stood at the start lights, so accepting a step backwards without much chance of getting back in makes little sense to me. That’s not the path I want to take.”
Hulkenberg had also been linked with a 2021 drive at Haas and Alfa Romeo, but he said his appearances at Silverstone haven’t fast tracked any talks.
“[I’ve been] talking to a lot of people since the beginning of the year,” he revealed.
“Silverstone hasn’t changed that. The process runs constantly in the background.
“During the brief comeback, honestly, nothing was going on. You concentrate on the work. The important thing was simply to deliver a good performance when you have the chance. Planning the future is part of a bigger process.”
COVID-19 is a constant threat and there is no guarantee that all 20 full-time drivers will stay fit to race for the rest of the season.
But even if a seat did temporarily become available, Hulkenberg isn’t expecting to race in Formula 1 again this year.
“I don’t expect any more races this season,” he confirmed.
“Of course something can always happen during corona, but I don’t expect it.
“I keep myself fit and ready as far as I can. But I don’t think it will happen every other week now. I’m working on my return for 2021.”