Nico Hulkenberg says his full-time break from racing in Formula 1 has given him a "changed perspective" as he prepares to return with Haas in 2023.
Hulkenberg replaced Mick Schumacher at Haas to secure a permanent return to Grand Prix racing after losing his Renault seat at the end of 2019.
The German has been a reserve driver for Racing Point and Aston Martin since 2020, subbing in for the COVID-stricken Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel at times.
However, given Haas's desire to develop into solid midfield contenders, boss Guenther Steiner felt he was a better option than retaining incumbent Schumacher alongside Kevin Magnussen.
Hulkenberg at 35 years old believes that he is now in a better place having had time to reflect since leaving Renault.
Hulkenberg ơn "changed perspective"
"After 2019 I think [a break] was what I wanted and what I needed," Hulkenberg explained to media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I wasn't a third driver (at the time), so I really had the time to step back and disconnect [from F1] properly.
"Once the 2020 season started, I came to Silverstone to replace Checo, but it was good for me to have time away, to digest and reflect on some things.
"It changes your perspective a little bit too, and then in 2021, it was difficult when you to have to watch when you are on the sidelines.
"But at that time, I still think it was okay for me, but this year watching was a little harder, especially when you analyse and you see and think what you [could do] better in places.
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Goals have changed for Hulkenberg
A veteran of 181 Grand Prix starts, Hulkenberg says he will be heading into his comeback year "realistic" of what can be achieved, having given up on the goal of becoming World Champion.
"I think you've got to be realistic about [your] dreams and goals," he explained as he prepares to join the fifth team of his F1 career after full-time spells at Williams, Force India, Sauber and Renault.
"For me, [the goal] is to just maximise what we have.
"Obviously [it depends] on how competitive the package is that you race, but there are always circumstances for opportunities so you can get lucky some day.
"But I think we just need to maximise every race weekend to leave nothing on the table and to score the best possible result."
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