Hulkenberg linked with Indycar switch (8th Update)
|With zero chance of returning to F1, will Hulkenberg now consider IndyCar after saying no last year?|
UPDATE (GMM) Nico Hulkenberg says he might return to racing - even if it is not Formula 1.
"It depends on the sporting perspective," the former Renault driver, who lost his seat at the end of 2019, told DPA news agency.
Hulkenberg, 32, contested almost 180 grands prix in a decade-long career, but never finished on the podium.
"Formula 1 is of course the premier class, but there are also other attractive series," he said. "And if there is not a good possibility in Formula 1, then I will look around."
The German says he has already received several offers.
"That is reassuring and positive," said Hulkenberg. "I have noticed that my hunger for racing is still there and that I definitely want to put my hands on the steering wheel again.
"But at the moment, a lot is unpredictable. Teams are fighting for their survival. The driver question is not the most pressing for them."
Amid the corona crisis, Hulkenberg said he supports the reduction in the amount of the scheduled and controversial new budget cap for 2021.
"The difference between what the big teams want to spend and what the small teams can spend has definitely become too extreme," he said.
"In the end, Formula 1 is entertainment and I don't think a team has to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to be entertaining."
11/19/19 Nico Hulkenberg will not be joining Ed Carpenter Racing next year, despite speculation continuing to mount as recently as last weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.
Speaking to Autosport, Ed Carpenter did not comment on VeeKay but did confirm that he would remain IndyCar's only owner-driver by continuing to race on ovals in the #20 car, and that his road/street course partner would not be Hulkenberg.
"I will be continuing as oval driver in the #20 Chevy next season," said the three-time Indy 500 polesitter.
"It's amazing: every year someone starts a rumor or predicts that I'm retiring, but that's absolutely not the case.
"Maybe we'll have the other #20 driver confirmed just before Thanksgiving, but most likely it will be the week after. But no, it's not Nico Hulkenberg.
"Those rumors had gotten a little out of control, to be honest - even though neither of us said anything!
"To be honest, I did speak with Nico a couple of times, and I think he was intrigued by the prospect of coming to IndyCar, but I just don't think the timing was right for him.
"I don't think he would come over if he was just filling time, waiting to maybe get back into Formula 1 in 2021. I think he would evaluate it more and decide whether he really wanted to make a change and then commit to IndyCar for longer. And I don't think he's there yet."
Updated 2020 IndyCar Silly Season Page
11/16/19 The Editorial staff of GPLatestNews has it on a good authority that Nico Hülkenberg and Rinus van Kalmthout will form a team next year in the IndyCar-series in the United States. The German Formula 1 driver and the Dutchman will form a driver pairing for IndyCar-team Ed Carpenter Racing. According to our sources, the news will be made official by Ed Carpenter Racing next week.
With the switch to IndyCar, Hulkenberg's career in Formula 1 will – for now – come to end. The German made his entry in Formula 1 at Williams, after which the German respectively joined the teams of Force India and Sauber, until he was eventually recruited by Renault.
This season, the marriage between Hulkenberg and Renault was showing signs of falling apart. The love between the team and the German driver was confirmed to be over when the French team announced that Esteban Ocon will take over Hülkenberg’s seat next season. The transfer to the American IndyCar and Ed Carpenter Racing will undoubtedly mean a welcome change for the German from the world of Formula 1.
With Hulkenberg as the experienced driver and van Veekay as the talented rookie, the team hopes to achieve better results next season. Recently, some interesting rumors rose about which driver will start in which race for the team.
Earlier we shared the news that rumors have surfaced that VeeKay will drive on the oval-circuits, while Hulkenberg will account for the rest of the races for the American team.
But new information came to us from other reliable sources. These sources tell us that Rinus Veekay will race the complete season, and Nico Hülkenberg will change seats with Ed Carpenter. Ed will race in the oval tracks, and Nico will race in the road courses.
When the editorial staff of GPLatestNews asked for a response from Ed Carpenter Racing, the American racing team did not confirm, but also did not deny what our sources have told us. The managers of the drivers concerned were not available for commentary.
Update on Friday Nov 15-2019
Several days after the publishing of this article, Nico Hulkenberg, Rinus Veekay and Ed Carpenter Racing have officially responded to our story. At this point in time, all involved parties deny that any contract whatsoever has been signed for the 2020 season. However, the staff of GPLatestNews still has reason to believe that an announcement regarding these drivers racing for Ed Carpenter Racing in the 2020 season will be made public soon. During the Formula 1 race weekend in Brazil, Nico Hulkenberg has declared that he sees the Indycar-series as a possible future in his racing career. This is a contradiction to statements he made earlier, where he said he is not open to racing in the IndyCar-series. To add to that, Spencer Bigot, now former driver for Ed Carpenter Racing, has announced that he will no longer be a part of the Ed Carpenter Racing team in the coming season.
As for now, watch this space. GPLatestNews
|Now that IndyCars have a Halo and Windscreen, Hulkenberg might feel safer. The bigger question is whether there are any open seats given Hinch and Pigot also need one|
11/15/19 (GMM) Nico Hulkenberg has confirmed reports that he might switch to Indycar for 2020.
Although it was clear the potential F1 cockpits were filling up fast, the German finally announced in Brazil that he will not be on the 2020 grid.
"Now I can choose from pizza maker, hairdresser, dentist or gynecologist," he joked at Interlagos.
Dumped by Renault, Hulkenberg admits it will be "sad" when for the first time in a decade he tunes in to watch the Australian GP next March on TV.
But he says it's not all bad.
"I'm looking forward to a little more free time and not having to live by this calendar," said the 32-year-old.
"For one, I want to go to the Australian Open tennis in January, which is not something I have been able to do in the last ten years."
However, Hulkenberg insists he is not retiring, and will remain match-fit for F1 - even though he rules out sticking around simply to be a reserve driver.
"It's not my retirement, it's a no for Formula 1 in 2020," he said.
"I love this sport and these cars and I will be ready and fit if there is a chance for a comeback."
He has already rubbished reports that he is moving to DTM, blaming "bored" journalists for those stories.
"I have received some calls from some racing teams, but I have not signed anything and I will not for some time. I want to take the time I need to decide what I want to do," said Hulkenberg.
But he is not so dismissive of the rumors linking him with Indycar - even though he continues to rule out racing on the high speed American ovals.
"I have always said that I'm not a fan of ovals. I just don't like them and it doesn't seem to be for me. So yes, I would restrict myself to road circuits," he said.
Overall, he says he is not bitter that his F1 career is ending without even a single podium.
"If I look back, it could have gone better here or there. The potential for more was there. But I can live with that," said Hulkenberg.
"And it's good that I can live with it, because I can't change it. I'm fine with me," said Hulkenberg.
11/07/19 (GMM) Having slammed reports he is set to switch to DTM, Nico Hulkenberg is now being linked with an Indycar drive for 2020.
The experienced German has been left without a cockpit for 2020 after being dumped by Renault.
Hulkenberg has also been linked with Formula E, but now Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said he might have been offered an Indycar seat by Ed Carpenter Racing.
Earlier, 32-year-old Hulkenberg said: "Ovals are not something that attract or strike me.
"I have a lot of respect for the drivers who do that, but it's just not my thing. You can count that out."
However, the German report said Hulkenberg could contest only the street and road courses on the 2020 Indycar calendar.
Hulkenberg is also warning that he might simply take a break in 2020.
"For me personally, there is no shame in taking a break," he told Bild newspaper. "After ten years, I'll just watch! That doesn't mean I will.
"But maybe I won't drive anything. At the moment it's in the stars."
|IndyCar too unsafe, Hulkenberg now eyes Formula E|
09/27/19 (GMM) Nico Hulkenberg has denied being signed by a Formula E team for 2020.
The German has lost his Renault race seat, and opportunities to move to Alfa Romeo or Williams now appear unlikely.
At Sochi, it is rumored that the 32-year-old has been signed by the Formula E team Mahindra.
"No," Hulkenberg said when asked if it is true.
"I did not even negotiate with them. I don't understand where these rumors come from."
When asked if there was any contact at all with Formula E teams, he answered: "Personally no.
"I heard that there was interest through friends and mutual acquaintances, but personally I haven't talked to anyone."
When asked what he will be doing in 2020, Hulkenberg answered: "Let's see. I don't know yet myself.
"I think I will know more in the next two weeks, but at the moment nothing has been decided or confirmed."
It was believed that Hulkenberg's preferred option to stay in Formula 1 was Alfa Romeo, but the Ferrari-backed Antonio Giovinazzi looks set to be re-signed.
"Monza and Singapore were two good weekends for me, so I have to push in Sochi too and if I keep it up then the seat for next year will be confirmed," he said.
09/22/19 (GMM) Nico Hulkenberg is no longer completely ruling out a switch to Formula E.
Earlier, after losing his Renault seat for 2020, the German said the prospect of racing in the all-electric single seater series was "not exactly exciting".
But since then, potential alternatives at Haas and probably also Alfa Romeo and Red Bull have dried up. The 32-year-old also turned down an offer to race for McLaren's new Indycar team.
As for Williams, German Hulkenberg said: "After ten years in Formula 1, I really do not want to drive completely at the back."
Germany's Auto Bild claims that "not only Jaguar" has made an approach to Hulkenberg about Formula E.
"In my head, I'm still here in Formula 1," Hulkenberg said. "The first still burns.
"There was interest from people in that series (Formula E), but I did not pursue it. I would not consider it until it's clear that things are not going to work out here."
|Now that IndyCar is getting a Halo for 2020 perhaps Hulkenberg will give IndyCar a try - but our sources say he will drive for the Alfa Romeo F1 team in 2020|
09/21/19 (GMM) Nico Hulkenberg has turned down an offer to drive for McLaren in the British marque's first full Indycar season next year.
"I have a lot of respect for those who race on ovals, it's just not my thing," said the German, after McLaren boss Zak Brown revealed the failed talks in Singapore.
Earlier, the Renault refugee had also ruled out Formula E, saying the all-electric series is "not exactly exciting".
"Formula 1 blood flows in my veins," Hulkenberg insisted.
The 32-year-old has already missed out on the Haas seat, and Antonio Giovinazzi looks set to keep his Ferrari-promoted seat at Alfa Romeo.
Giovinazzi's father Vito has apparently been telling people in the paddock that his 25-year-old son has already signed up for 2020.
"Don't ever believe a father," Hulkenberg laughed.
"They sit here all day, talking and drinking a little and talking a little more.
"I'm calm. Let's see what happens," he added.
Hulkenberg also revealed in Singapore that Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko had told him to stop phoning.
"Hulkenberg is hard to imagine for Red Bull," Marko told Germany's Motorsport-Magazin.com in Singapore. "We look at the external options, but no one would be a significant improvement."
Hulkenberg told Sky Italia: "There is still a realistic possibility of staying in Formula 1.
"It's difficult to talk about specifics, because as you can imagine that's private details. But everyone knows what places are available.
"Right now I am still totally focused on Formula 1."
09/20/19 McLaren CEO Zak Brown approached Nico Hulkenberg about driving IndyCar for the British team for the 2020 season, with the German racing driver facing a very uncertain future in Formula 1.
Hulkenberg has been axed by Renault for the 2020 F1 season; with Esteban Ocon joining the French team from Mercedes in his place. There were rumors the Hulk would move to Haas and replace Romain Grosjean.
However, on Thursday morning it was announced that Grosjean would retain his Haas seat for next season and partner Kevin Magnussen once again, meaning a drive for the American outfit was off the cards for Hulkenberg (for now, anyway!).
Brown, the McLaren motorsport chief executive, "approached" Hulkenberg over driving in IndyCar for next season, but it appears the German driver does not want to drive in that form of motorsport at the moment.
It could be a case of the waiting game for Hulkenberg and see if anything becomes available at Red Bull, with the Milton Keynes-based squad far from certain about their future drivers just yet.
Williams have also just had a seat become vacant with Robert Kubica announcing his departure from Formula 1; but deputy team principal Claire Williams revealed the team have not approached Hulkenberg about the seat.