Nico Hülkenberg has been officially confirmed as the test and reserve driver for the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team after weeks of speculation.
The German, who stood in for both Sergio Pérez and Lance Stroll at the BWT Racing Point Formula One Team – the team that became Aston Martin in 2021 – when the drivers were unavailable due to illness during 2020, and the one-time Formula 1 pole sitter now joins the team in an official capacity.
Hülkenberg is a veteran of one hundred and seventy-six race starts but has the unenviable record of competing in the most races without standing on the podium. He has always stated his desire to return to a race seat and by staying present in the paddock keeps him in the spotlight.
“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!” said Hülkenberg. “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 [Vettel] 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.”
Hülkenberg first jumped in the car for the British Grand Prix but was unable to start due to a technical issue. However, the following week in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix he qualified an excellent third on the grid and finished in the points in seventh.
He then had to wait until Stroll was unavailable for the Eifel Grand Prix, with his first outing in the car that weekend in Qualifying. He qualified at the back of the grid, as expected with so little preparation, but performed admirably in the race to score points again in eighth.
“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 One Team,” said Otmar Szafnauer, the Team Principal and CEO at Aston Martin.
“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.”