Nico Hulkenberg admits he was never "stressed" by the possibility of not returning to the F1 grid one day.
The German will make a full-time comeback to the sport in 2023 with the Haas team, having spent three years on the sidelines following his exit from Renault at the end of 2019.
In that time, Hulkenberg has made stand-in appearances at Racing Point/Aston Martin due to drivers missing events after testing positive for COVID-19, but was left without a permanent seat.
While his return to racing in Formula 1 is now official, the 35-year-old insists that he did not worry over the chance that his day may never come.
Hulkenberg had 'no fear' about not returning to F1
"For two years, I wasn't too stressed about it," Hulkenberg told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I was also enjoying the life out of the driving seat. It's much more relaxed, there's other benefits.
"But then it kind of crept back in, the desire to go back on the grid, to go racing, to kick ass, to be in the driving seat.
"So there was no fear."
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Hulkenberg reflects on work/life balance
While he hadn't let the thought of never racing in F1 again bother him, Hulkenberg says that the desire to return did not necessarily take him by surprise.
"It didn't catch me off guard, but it's just a feeling," he explained.
"For some time I had that feeling, then the other feeling [of wanting to return] prevailed and [grew]. It's a process that just grew within me."
Hulkenberg became a father during his time away from the sport, meaning that his work/life set-up may look a little different going forwards.
"I'm a few years older now, a few years wiser," he added.
"I think my work/life balance wasn't bad before, but it's a little bit [of a] different scenario now, being a father.
"But no worries there. We'll do a little family world tour next year."
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