Nico Hulkenberg has conceded that talks are "ongoing" but has expressed confidence about the direction of his F1 career. With the Haas team undecided on their second driver for 2023, Hulkenberg emerged as a possible candidate to replace Mick Schumacher, who is also vying to stay at the team next season. Steiner has previously confirmed Hulkenberg as a candidate for the seat, whilst the journeyman driver has so far remained tight-lipped on his future. However, the 35-year-old recently dropped hints about the 'optimistic' progress of potential contract talks. "At the end of the day, it's not my decision. I'm not making it," commented Hulkenberg to Austrian broadcaster ServusTV . "There are still talks. I am relatively optimistic, but we will have to be patient a little longer."
Aston Martin announcement points to Hulkenberg's switch?
Aston Martin appear to have a plan in place without Hulkenberg, following the news that Stoffel Vandoorne will be their reserve driver - alongside Felipe Drugovich - in 2023 . Hulkenberg was not mentioned in Aston Martin's press release, which could hint at the German having other plans for 2023. The 35-year-old has been without a permanent F1 drive since the end of the 2019 season, when he raced for Renault. He made three substitute appearances for Racing Point in 2020, when he appeared at the British Grand Prix, the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, and the Eifel Grand Prix, with a best finish of seventh place. With the team rebadged as Aston Martin from 2021, he also became their official reserve driver, and was called upon for two races this season: the Bahrain and the Saudi Arabian Grands Prix.