Alfa Romeo or bust for Nico Hulkenberg's 2020 F1 aspirations

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg’s sole hope of remaining on the Formula 1 grid for 2020 rests with Alfa Romeo, after he ruled out Williams or a reserve driver option.

Hulkenberg, who raced for the team under its Sauber guise in 2013, is currently without a 2020 seat in the wake of being replaced by Esteban Ocon at Renault.

Red Bull and Toro Rosso is keeping its line-up in-house while a potential avenue at Haas was closed when Romain Grosjean was retained.

Only Alfa Romeo and Williams have vacancies but the situation at the Swiss-run squad is complicated by the sway Ferrari holds over the second seat, currently occupied by Antonio Giovinazzi.

Hulkenberg asserted that a reserve role at a top team was “not an option” and also dismissed the idea of returning to Williams, explaining: “I think they need somebody else.

“I think I’m not the right person, the right driver for them. Not that at all, it’s just where I am in my career, where they are, and the timings, I just don’t think it’s the right timing for us.

“With all due respect to the team, and obviously I’ve raced for them and everything, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Hulkenberg has started over 170 grands prix but has yet to compete for a front-running team since graduating to the championship in 2010.

“I’ve performed well over the years, very consistently, many times when it was on the verge or other people didn’t get hired or get a job, I still was wanted and hired and paid to drive,” he said.

“That also speaks for some quality. Of course I would like to have a different kind of record, more points and podiums and victories, but yeah, I know the reasons why, and why maybe things didn’t go that way.

“I’m at peace with myself there. I sleep well at night with my eyes closed. I’d love to continue racing, but if not, then life goes on.”