Nico Hulkenberg says he is “optimistic” about returning to the Formula 1 grid in 2023.
According to reports, the 35-year-old German – who has been out of the sport full-time since 2019 and most recently serving as Aston Martin reserve – is now more likely than Mick Schumacher to secure the Haas seat.
That is despite the fact that fellow German Schumacher, 23, has improved his pace relative to teammate Kevin Magnussen in the second part of the year.
Haas owner Gene Haas, however, insisted before Austin that only points finishes would secure the race seat for Schumacher.
“You have to look at the whole season,” former F1 driver Timo Glock told Sky Deutschland. “You have to look at the development and it is going up.
“At the moment he has better speed than his teammate. He has made fewer mistakes lately. You can’t just rate someone on their last two races.”
Hulkenberg has kept conspicuously quiet amid speculation of his potential 2023 return, but he has now broken his silence in conversation with Austrian broadcaster Servus TV.
“So far, I can’t say anything specific,” he said.
“In the end, I don’t make the decision. Negotiations are ongoing and I am relatively optimistic about the progress. You need to be patient with these decisions.”