After shedding his final full-time F1 drive – with Renault – on the finish of the 2019 season, Hulkenberg took half in three occasions for the Aston staff that was then often called Racing Level over the past marketing campaign on the events had been its common drivers had been unable to race after contracting COVID-19.
Hulkenberg entered the 2 races at Silverstone instead of Sergio Perez after he testing optimistic for COVID on the eve of the British GP weekend – though Hulkenberg didn’t begin the race after a bolt in his automobile’s clutch sheared forward of the beginning, earlier than happening to take seventh from a sensational third on the grid, within the subsequent seventieth Anniversary GP.
He then stood in for Lance Stroll within the Eifel GP after the Canadian felt unwell throughout observe – he was additionally solely recognized with COVID after leaving the occasion on the Nurburgring.
Hulkenberg completed eighth after solely collaborating in qualifying and the race (solely lacking the one 60-minute FP3 session that came about as observe that weekend after unhealthy climate washed out the Friday working).
“To begin with, it’s nice to get this deal signed up with loads of discover – final 12 months, I didn’t have fairly as a lot time to organize earlier than leaping within the automobile,” mentioned Hulkenberg, who raced for the squad in its Power India guise in 2012 and between 2014-2016.
“I’m actually happy to as soon as once more work with this staff – with whom I’ve pushed many occasions throughout my profession.
“Clearly, I’m hoping that Sebastian [Vettel, who has replaced Perez for 2021 at the rebranded Aston squad] and Lance get pleasure from uninterrupted seasons this 12 months, however the staff is aware of it may well depend on me to step in and do a superb job, and I’m absolutely ready to tackle that problem.
“It’ll even be attention-grabbing to assist develop the staff by means of the season, and I’m actually trying ahead to pulling nice lap-times out of my arm sleeve.”
Aston staff principal and CEO Otmar Szafnauer added: “We’re delighted to have the ability to welcome Nico again to the staff in an official capability, as reserve and improvement driver for [the] Aston Martin Formulation 1 staff.
“In these troublesome occasions, the requirement for a succesful and skilled reserve driver is particularly essential.
“Nico proved final 12 months that he might bounce within the automobile and carry out beautifully at a second’s discover; now, with extra scope for preparation and integration, we all know that we are able to depend on Nico to do a superb job.”