Aston Martin sign super-sub Nico Hulkenberg as reserve driver for 2021

Aston Martin will benefit from the 33-year-old’s F1 pedigree – 176 race starts, including successful campaigns with Williams and Renault.

Nico Hulkenberg in a file photo. (Image Credit: Twitter/@F1)
By Arnab Mukherji | Apr 8, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Aston Martin have announced their decision to give super-sub Nico Hulkenberg an official full-time role in Formula 1 in 2021. Hulkenberg has been signed up as the team’s reserve and development driver for this season. The German operated as a substitute for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll thrice in 2020, after the two stars tested positive for COVID-19. Hulkenberg did not start the British Grand Prix after being subbed in for Perez. He finished seventh at the same track in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, after qualifying a brilliant P3. The German registered an eighth spot finish in the Eifel Grand Prix in place of Stroll.

“First of all, it’s great to get this deal signed up with plenty of notice – last year, I didn’t have quite as much time to prepare before jumping in the car,” said Hulkenberg as quoted by the official website of Formula 1.

“I’m really pleased to once again work with this team – with whom I have driven many times during my career,” added the German.

“Obviously, I’m hoping that Sebastian and Lance enjoy uninterrupted seasons this year, but the team knows it can rely on me to step in and do an excellent job, and I’m fully prepared to take on that challenge. It will also be interesting to help develop the team through the season, and I’m really looking forward to pulling great lap-times out of my arm sleeve,” he concluded.

Importance of an experienced reserve driver

Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer termed the presence of a capable reserve driver like Hulkenberg as vital, considering the havoc wreaked by COVID-19.

“In these difficult times, the requirement for a capable and experienced reserve driver is especially important. Nico proved last year that he could jump in the car and perform superbly at a moment’s notice; now, with additional scope for preparation and integration, we know that we can rely on Nico to do an excellent job,” he stated.

Hulkenberg enjoys reasonable experience with 176 race starts under his belt. The 33-year-old has previously represented Williams, Sauber and Renault alongside his Force India and Racing Point stints.

He was a part of the Aston Martin squad back in 2012, and then between 2014 and 2016. The German will be stepping in for Stroll or Sebastian Vettel if deemed necessary.

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