Nico Hülkenberg joins Aston Martin as official reserve driver


Nico Hülkenberg has joined Aston Martin as the team's official reserve and development driver

Nico Hulkenberg, 2020 British GP

Nico Hulkenberg is back in F1 as a reserve and development driver at Aston Martin


Aston Martin has confirmed Nico Hülkenberg as its reserve and development driver for the 2021 Formula 1 season.

Hülkenberg has spent the majority of his F1 career with the Silverstone-based team, racing under its Force India guise in 2011, 2012 before returning for a second stint between 2014 and 2016.

The German stood in on three separate occasions last season when the team was Racing Point, replacing Sergio Perez during the British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix and later Lance Stroll at the Eifel GP.

On two of the three occasions, he scored points for the team. He was prevented from taking the start of the British Grand Prix due to a pre-race engine issue.

“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!” Hülkenberg said.

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

“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.”

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer said that his experience and familiarity with the team would be a crucial factor this season, and should he need to replace either Stroll or Sebastian Vettel this season, would be a capable pair of hands.

“We’re delighted to be able to welcome Nico back to the team in an official capacity, as reserve and development driver for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula 1 Team,” he said.

“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.”