Ex-F1 driver Hulkenberg rules out IndyCar switch for personal reasons

Ex-Formula 1 driver Nico Hulkenberg has ruled out a move into IndyCar following his maiden test last month, citing “personal reasons”.

Ex-F1 driver Hulkenberg rules out IndyCar switch for personal reasons

Hulkenberg has been without a full-time race seat since losing his F1 drive with Renault at the end of 2019.

He retains an F1 role as Aston Martin’s reserve driver, having made two substitute appearances for the Silverstone-based team last season.

To evaluate a potential future move into IndyCar, Hulkenberg took part in a test with the Arrow McLaren SP team at Barber Motorsports Park two weeks ago, completing more than 100 laps. 

Hulkenberg told Autosport ahead of the test that IndyCar was “definitely interesting” to him, and that the racing looked “very enjoyable and fun”.

But in a post on Twitter on Thursday, Hulkenberg announced that he would not be moving into IndyCar.

"Quick update regarding IndyCar: It was exciting to test an Indycar two weeks ago and I am grateful to Arrow McLaren SP for this opportunity,” Hulkenberg wrote.

“However for personal reasons I decided not to go ahead with it. Keep you posted on my future plans.”

Arrow McLaren SP has been considering options to expand its IndyCar efforts to a third car in the near future, with an additional entry slated for Indianapolis next year and later in the season before a full-time programme in 2023.

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said ahead of the test that Hulkenberg had been “right towards the top of the list” for the team when considering a third driver for the future.

Nico Hülkenberg, Arrow McLaren SP

Nico Hülkenberg, Arrow McLaren SP

Photo by: IndyCar Series

Hulkenberg recently became a father after his wife gave birth to a baby girl in September, making any possible switch to a programme based in the United States a big commitment to make.

A number of ex-F1 drivers have made the move to IndyCar in recent years, including Romain Grosjean and Marcus Ericsson, who will both be racing full-time in the championship next year.

Grosjean impressed through his rookie season with Dale Coyne Racing in 2021, racing primarily at the road and street courses, but will join Andretti Autosport for 2022 for a full-season programme.

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