Updated: Feb 28
Written by Evan Veer, edited by Harshi Vashee
F1 fan-favourite Nico Hülkenberg announced on Instagram that he will not be joining the IndyCar Series with the McLaren Arrows SP team due to personal reasons.
Nico had been strongly linked to a part-time drive with the outfit which is currently considering multiple options for their 3rd car which they will be entering in next year’s Indy 500 with the possibility of doing more races later that season as preparation for a full-time three car effort for 2023. Hülkenberg made his test debut for the team at the Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, which was followed by a test for fellow former F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
Nico Hülkenberg hasn’t had a full-time drive since the end of the 2019 F1 season, but he has made multiple last-minute appearances for Racing Point after both of their drivers had to miss races after testing positive for covid, both on separate occasions, and after an impressive qualifying in Silverstone combined with a great recovery drive at the Nurburgring he was hired as a reserve driver for Racing Point/ Aston Martin and Mercedes.
Although a return to F1 would be the obvious target, Nico himself has already said, “The Formula 1 chapter is closed for me” in the case he does not get a seat for 2022, while also stating that he is not in talks with Alfa Romeo.
As for a top level drive, one option may be a DTM debut as he privately tested a Lamborghini Huracan last year, although he opted out of joining the championship to focus on securing a spot on the 2022 F1 grid.
Another option could be to return to endurance racing as the new hypercar class offers many great opportunities for getting a factory drive, and as a Le Mans winner and former F1 driver he should surely have a good shot, possibly even with Porsche, the team with whom he won Le Mans at his debut in 2015.