Nico Hulkenberg concedes his hopes of a full-time return to Formula 1 next year are likely over after revealing he isn’t in talks with Alfa Romeo over a 2022 seat.
Following his departure from Renault at the end of 2019, Hulkenberg has only raced in three grand prix’s when he substituted for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll at Racing Point when both contracted COVID-19 last year.
While he impressed during his stand-in appearances, the German failed to land a drive for the 2021 season, taking up a reserve driver role at Aston Martin instead.
Hulkenberg previously stated that if he couldn’t find a seat on the grid for 2022 it would likely spell the end of his F1 career, and although his name was linked with drives at Alfa Romeo and Williams – both teams recently announced new recruitments.
Alexander Albon was confirmed at Williams alongside Nicholas Latifi, while Alfa Romeo is searching for a second driver to partner Valtteri Bottas, who arrives from Mercedes.
Formula 2 driver Guanyu Zhou and current incumbent Antonio Giovinazzi are among the options being considered, but Hulkenberg confirmed he wasn’t talking to Alfa Romeo about the vacant seat, ending hopes of an F1 comeback.
“There are no talks with Alfa Romeo,” Hulkenberg told German publication Bild.
“After all, that would have been the last option for a permanent seat in 2022, after all the other cockpits have been allocated.”
Despite his disappointment, Hulkenberg accepted the situation, saying “life goes on”, but revealed his chances of racing in another series were high after receiving “exciting enquires”.
“I’m in no hurry to make a decision,” Hulkenberg said, adding that he wants to “sort everything out” and “see how things progress”.