Hülkenberg to continue subbing for Aston's Vettel in Saudi Arabia


Aston Martin has announced Nico Hülkenberg will again deputise for Sebastian Vettel in Saudi Arabia this weekend

Nico Hülkenberg (Aston Martin-Mercedes) before the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit. Photo: Grand Prix Photo

Hülkenberg is back in for Vettel again this weekend

Grand Prix Photo

Nico Hülkenberg will again drive for Aston Martin in place of Sebastian Vettel at this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the team has announced.

Vettel tested positive for Covid-19 prior to last week’s Bahrain GP, with Hülkenberg having to fly in at the last moment and compete with no prior experience of the team’s new AMR22 car.

Though the Silverstone squad did not announce whether Vettel still has Covid or not, rules now state that a driver must have “no Covid-19 risk factors […] nor are they suffering from Covid-19 symptoms” suggesting the German might not necessarily have the virus now at this point, but that the team has decided to keep him out of the paddock.

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Aston said in a social media post that “We expect Sebastian Vettel to be fit for the Australian GP.”

Hülkenberg, who will make his fifth Covid substitute appearance since 2020, managed to out-qualify his team-mate Lance Stroll by two places when driving in Sakhir last week, lining up 17th for the season opener, but eventually finished last in what was a difficult weekend for both drivers and teams.

The former Williams, Force India, Sauber and Renault driver, who made his debut in 2010, extended his record of F1 starts without a podium to 180 last week and will most likely do the same again in Jeddah.

“After familiarising myself with the AMR22 in Bahrain last weekend, racing in Saudi Arabia will give me the opportunity to develop and further improve my understanding of the car,” Hülkenberg said via Aston this morning.

“In addition, the work I did back in the simulator earlier this week has given me some extra insight and helped me prepare for this fast and flowing track. Obviously, I wish Sebastian a speedy recovery, but I am really looking forward to the challenge and will be doing my best for the whole team this weekend.”