Nico Hulkenberg will be reserve driver for both Aston Martin and Mercedes during the 2021 Formula One season.
Hulkenberg impressed as F1’s “super-sub” in 2020, deputising for Racing Point at three different events — doing so twice for Sergio Perez, once for Lance Stroll after positive COVID-19 tests. He failed to land a full-time drive for 2021.
Ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Hulkenberg confirmed to Austrian TV channel Servus he will complete a duel role this year. He will remain the reserve for the rebranded Racing Point team, now known as Aston Martin, while also deputising for Mercedes when its existing reserve drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries are not available due to their Formula E commitments.
There are currently three F1 events which clash with Formula E races – the Spanish GP on May 9, the Monaco GP on May 24 and the Azerbaijan GP on June 6. Ongoing travel restrictions could also complicate Vandoorne and De Vries getting from Santiago to Montreal for the Canadian GP on June 13.
Hulkenberg was praised for his performances in 2020. At the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix he qualified third, prompting the likes of Daniel Ricciardo to say he deserved a full-time drive.
Between 2010 and 2020 he has contested 178 F1 races. He currently holds the unenviable record for the most F1 race starts without a podium finish.
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