Despite leaving the sport at the end of the 2019 season, Nico Hulkenberg competed in three races for the Silverstone-based team during the 2020 season. The German filled in for the COVID stricken Sergio Perez at the two Silverstone races and for Lance Stroll at the Eifel Grand Prix.
His performances in those races have clearly piqued the interest of Aston Martin who are on the cusp of offering him a test and reverse driver. This however might prove to be a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it would make sense for Hulkenberg to sign with the Aston Martin team especially given their recent investment. It would keep him in the Formula 1 paddock while simultaneously ensuring he is involved in some way through a driving capacity, which in turn would make him an attractive proposition if a seat at either Aston Martin or another team were to open up.
On the other hand, an exclusive contract with Aston Martin means that the German will not be able to sit in for a driver if one of them is to contract the coronavirus.
This leaves him in a precarious position, though there is a solution at hand. Alex Albon, who is currently Red Bull's official test and reserve driver has a clause in his contract that allows him to fill in for a team if for whatever reason one of their race drivers is unable to compete. A similar clause would enable Hulkenberg to gain the best of both worlds as he seeks a return to a race seat.
Whatever happens, there is no doubt that Hulkenberg will be a valuable asset to Aston Martin.