Nico Hulkenberg says becoming reserve driver at Red Bull this season was “never an option”.
Actually, the German is expected to sign up as Mercedes’ works reserve driver, to potentially also be on standby for Aston Martin and McLaren.
The 33-year-old admits he was really chasing the Red Bull race seat, which ultimately went to Sergio Perez.
“Of course I would have liked to drive for Red Bull, there’s no need to deny that,” Hulkenberg told Servus TV.
“But that’s not the case now. Ultimately it was their decision.”
He also won’t be Red Bull reserve.
“That was never an option,” said the German. “At the end of the year it was all about the race seat. But that went to Checo as everyone knows.
“Red Bull was then quick to say that (Alex) Albon would be the reserve driver so I was approached by other teams,” Hulkenberg added.
However, he says he remains fully focused on Formula 1 for now even if he doesn’t have a race seat.
“It is important for me to stay in and around Formula 1 and to grab the opportunities when they come along, also with an eye on 2022,” said Hulkenberg.