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Mercedes closing in on Hülkenberg reserve deal

Mercedes closing in on Hülkenberg reserve deal

F1 News

Mercedes closing in on Hülkenberg reserve deal

Mercedes closing in on Hülkenberg reserve deal

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has confirmed he is close to concluding a deal with Nico Hülkenberg to serve as a reserve driver this year.

The team has Formula E drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries on its roster, but Wolff is aware there will be occasions neither will be available due to calendar clashes.

At present, the Spanish, Monaco and Azerbaijan Grands Prix occur on the same weekends as the FE rounds in Monte-Carlo, Morocco and Chile.

Mercedes also cannot call what restrictions may be in place at any given time that could hinder the travel plans of Vandoorne and de Vries.

That has resulted in Wolff holding talks with Hülkenberg who last season stepped in for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll at Racing Point after both contracted Covid-19 at different stages of the season.

While George Russell deputised for Lewis Hamilton in last year's Sakhir GP, Wolff is keen to get Hülkenberg on board on this occasion to serve as cover.

"There is a situation where our two reserve drivers, Stoffel and Nyck, are racing in Formula E, and there are certain races where there is an overlap," said Wolff.

"Nico knows the current generation of Formula 1 cars and the tyres, and it would be good to have him in the line-up as a solution, maybe to be shared with other teams because he’s a known quantity and well respected.

“So, it would be good, but we didn’t put pen to paper."

One of those teams where Hülkenberg could also step in is with McLaren.

"On our side, we will do the same again as last year," said team principal Andreas Seidl.

"We will have an agreement again with Toto, with Mercedes, to use their reserve drivers in case of an emergency. We are happy with that."

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