Nico Hulkenberg, McLaren SP, IndyCar, Barber Motorsports Park, 2021

Hulkenberg rules out IndyCar move after McLaren SP test


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Nico Hulkenberg has decided against pursuing a move into IndyCar following his test for the McLaren SP team last week.

The former Formula 1 driver and Aston Martin reserve drove for McLaren SP at the Barber Motorsport Park in Alabama. In a social media post today Hulkenberg said is not looking to move into the series.

“It was exciting to test an IndyCar two weeks ago and I am grateful to Arrow McLaren SP for this opportunity,” he said. “However for personal reasons I decided not to go ahead with it. Keep you posted on my future plans.”

Prior to the test McLaren SP described Hulkenberg’s run as “a one-off opportunity he has agreed with the team” to drive their Chevrolet-powered Dallara DW12.

McLaren SP is looking to expand its full-time two-car entry in 2023. The team’s CEO Zak Brown said Hulkenberg is “up right towards the top of the list” of drivers it would consider to partner Patricio O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist.

Hulkenberg has previously indicated he does not want to race on ovals, which make up five of the 17 races on next year’s IndyCar schedule.

McLaren SP will add a third car for the Indianapolis 500 again in 2022 as it did this year, for Juan Pablo Montoya.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 9 comments on “Hulkenberg rules out IndyCar move after McLaren SP test”

    1. That’s a bit lazy of me, but does anyone know how he did on that test?

      1. I don’t think that’s easy to know anyway, all we can get are some numbers and some honest-to-God official reactions.

      2. According to Racer, he was slowest of the five by about half a second, one second off the best time posted by David Malukas. But yes, hard to glean a whole lot. Hulkenberg was the only one who was also learning the track.

      3. As noted by Mark Zastrow, the number of participants in that test was quite limited, and mostly focussing on Indy Lights drivers aspiring to enter IndyCar.

        Hulkenberg’s best time was a 1m07.455s, which put him last, about 0.5s behind the next slowest and about 1s behind the fastest driver. If he’d set that time during qualifying for the recent IndyCar race there, it would have put him 20th out of 24 runners for the recent race, so towards the back of the field.

        However, as noted by others, Hulkenberg’s performance was considered quite respectable by those present given that he’d never driven that car, had no experience of that circuit and had not worked with the Arrows-McLaren IndyCar team before.

        1. Hulk’s best time was two hundreths faster than Grosjean’s first test times at the same track. So he may have been the slowest, but there was certainly some potential there.

    2. Hulkenberg hasn’t done much of anything these past two years.

    3. If I was him I would chase a drive in a LMDh car next year

    4. Kind of interesting what’s going on with Nico…seems like he has the itch to drive but is very non-committal. Is he still holding out hope for F1? Does he want to stay in Europe, which led him to turn down IndyCar?

      We’ll never quite know until he tells us but hopefully we’ll get to see him racing again soon.

      1. I just saw that he became a father for the first time in September. I imagine that’s playing a big part in his decisions, which is understandable.

    Comments are closed.