Nico Hulkenberg yet to give thought to non-F1 future

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg says he will take time off to get “clarity” over his future, should he be left without a Formula 1 seat for the 2020 season.

Hulkenberg has started over 150 grands prix for Williams, Sauber, Force India and Renault since 2010, but the French marque has opted to replace him with Esteban Ocon next season.

A potential avenue at Haas was closed when the team chose to retain Romain Grosjean, amid speculation that Hulkenberg's wage demands were too high, leaving only Williams and Alfa Romeo as potential options.

It is understood that Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur is interested in signing Hulkenberg but that the situation is complicated by Ferrari’s involvement in one seat, which is occupied by its affiliated driver Antonio Giovinazzi.

Kimi Raikkonen is already under contract at the team for 2020.

“I guess there is that scenario [of not racing in 2020],” Hulkenberg said ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.

“If it wasn’t to continue here [in Formula 1] after that, I haven’t given it much thought.

“I think also for me personally I would take some time to get clarity over what I want, find a new challenge.

“Of course I would be in a racing car in the future because it’s what I love doing, it’s my passion, I think only time will tell on that.”

Hulkenberg also confirmed that there was “no news” on his future as of today, adding “it’s a little bit more of a patient game, we’ll have to wait and see a bit longer.”