Nico Hulkenberg was recently announced as the official team reserve and development driver for Aston Martin. The former Renault driver filled in as a replacement for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll last year after the drivers tested positive for COVID-19.
While discussing his confirmation, Hulkenberg said:
"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! 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 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."
Jenson Button replied to a SkyF1 tweet about the recent signing. The Briton had an entirely different view as he felt Aston Martin's move would add pressure on Vettel after an underwhelming opening weekend at Bahrain.
“Just to add a little more pressure on Seb’s shoulders!,” Button wrote on his Twitter account.
Just how good is Nico Hulkenberg?
Calling Nico Hulkenberg one of the unluckiest drivers on the grid would be accurate. Nico Hulkenberg holds the record for the highest number of Formula 1 starts without a podium finish. Shockingly, the German found himself off the Formula 1 grid after the 2019 season. Hulkenberg has beaten most of his teammates in Formula 1, including drivers who are currently driving in the series. Carlos Sainz, the current Ferrari driver, teamed up with Nico Hulkenberg at Renault in 2018. The German outscored the Spaniard 69 to 53 points in their season together.
Current Red Bull driver Sergio Perez lost out to Nico Hulkenberg at Force India in 2014. Nico Hulkenberg also proved his worth last year when he replaced Sergio Perez at Silverstone and qualified in P3 in the Racing Point, ahead of Lance Stroll.
If Sebastian Vettel cannot showcase the form he's expected to, then the team could look to Nico Hulkenberg as an alternative.