Hulkenberg doubts 2021 F1 return would be possible
"At the beginning of my career, in 2010, that was possible"
Nico Hulkenberg does not think he will return to Formula 1 if he fails to find a place on the 2020 grid.
The vacant cockpits are at Alfa Romeo, Williams and Red Bull, and all of those teams have more likely candidates than the 32-year-old German.
"At the moment I have no news," the soon-to-be Renault refugee told Auto Bild.
"It will take a bit longer than I hoped."
Almost a decade ago, Hulkenberg made his F1 debut for Williams in 2010 but lost his seat at the end of the year. In 2012, he returned after a year as Force India’s test driver.
"At the beginning of my career, in 2010, that was possible. Now, towards the end of my career, I doubt it," he said.
There is a rumour that Hulkenberg could accept a role as a Ferrari development driver. But if he sounds resigned about his fate, the former Sauber driver insisted leaving Formula 1 would not be the end of the world.
"Sometimes it’s suggested from the outside that I’m desperate to stay in F1. That’s wrong," he said.
"I love Formula 1, I love racing, and I want to go on. But if not, I’ve had ten good years of highs and lows, I’ve seen everything, and I’ll be fine with it."