Nico Hulkenberg has confirmed he is in talks with Alfa Romeo as he looks to salvage his Formula 1 career.
After Esteban Ocon was confirmed as his replacement at Renault last year, Hulkenberg’s options narrowed further when discussions with Haas were ended when the American squad opted to remain with Romain Grosjean.
Alfa team boss Fred Vasseur is no stranger to Hulkenberg, having overseen much of his dominant junior career at ART and a reunion could yet be on the cards as the Hinwil squad weigh up the merits of Antonio Giovinazzi in the seat alongside Kimi Raikkonen.
“Well certainly, I think that’s quite obvious that I’m talking to them,” Hulkenberg told CNN. “But we’ll see where it takes us.”
Alfa’s ties to Ferrari could play to Giovinazzi’s favour, while the Italian’s form has steadily progressed as the year has gone on.
Vasseur said in Japan: “We will take the decision quite soon but, honestly, if you have a look at the last event I think that Antonio is doing a very strong job. He was matching Kimi in the last six or seven qualifyings in a row.
“He was in front in Sochi. OK, the first lap was not a good one for us but he’s doing the job and he’s improving step-by-step. He’s improving and I’m very confident with Antonio.”
Alfa appear to be Hulkenberg’s last shot at remaining in F1 next year, with the German ruling out a return to Williams, a decade on from debuting in the sport with them.
“There are no discussions going on there,” said Hulkenberg.
“It’s a good team. Obviously that’s where I started my career back in 2010 and even before that, I was a test driver there, but I don’t feel like I’m the right person for them right now.”