Nico Hülkenberg’s future in Formula 1 is uncertain following the confirmation of Romain Grosjean’s stay with the Haas F1 Team in 2020, with the German facing the possibility of missing out on a drive for next season.
Hülkenberg will depart the Renault F1 Team at the end of the season, with the Enstone-based team opting to bring in Esteban Ocon alongside Daniel Ricciardo for 2020, and despite talks with Haas, a chance to run with the youngest team on the grid never materialised.
The German thinks there are still possibilities on the Formula 1 grid for 2020, but for now these seem to be out of his hands, so there is a chance the one-time pole position sitter will not be on the grid next year.
“I think you see and understand for yourself what’s available, which seats and which not,” Hulkenberg is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “I think that’s pretty obvious. Right now, it’s to a big extent out of my control, out of my hands.
“We just need a bit more time. I think there are still possibilities and realistic chances, but in this game, you can never be too sure.”
Romain Grosjean was confirmed to be a Haas driver for a fifth consecutive season on Thursday, and when asked, Hülkenberg said he was not disappointed by the news as he had not actively pursued the drive.
“No, because I didn’t pursue that deal, and we didn’t go ahead, we didn’t agree, we didn’t get together with Haas,” revealed the German. “Haas was definitely an option, and we were talking, that’s definitely not a secret.
“We just didn’t get together on this occasion, we couldn’t agree a deal.”
One of the few available drives for 2020 appears to be with Alfa Romeo Racing, with Antonio Giovinazzi’s seat alongside Kimi Räikkönen still in the balance, and Hülkenberg says the history that he has with Alfa’s Team Principal Frédéric Vasseur won’t hurt his chances of joining.
“We’ve known each other since many years, he’s obviously the guy that brought me here [to Renault] as well, that I did the deal with ultimately,” said Hülkenberg. “I guess it doesn’t hurt.”
Whereas Hülkenberg would like to stay on the grid, he insists he is not desperate to do so, and any move will have to make sense to him. This could potentially rule out a move to Williams Racing, who have a vacancy of their own for 2020 following the news that Robert Kubica will leave after the end of the current campaign.
“As much as I want to continue in F1, for me it needs to make sense,” said the German. “It needs to be sensible, it needs to be the right deal. I’m not desperate to stay in F1 and just take anything.
“I’m not disregarding or disrespecting Williams now, I mean in general, globally, even with Haas, that is the most important thing for me.”