It’s been confirmed that Sebastian Vettel will not be racing alongside his Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. Instead, Nico Hulkenberg will be driving for the practice, qualifying, and the race at Jeddah.
Aston Martin released a statement:
“Update: @HulkHulkenbergwill practice, qualify and race alongside @lance_stroll. Despite lack of mileage in the #AMR22, Nico coped well in Bahrain and we are sure he will do likewise in Jeddah. We expect Sebastian Vettel to be fit for the #AustralianGP.”
Despite lack of mileage in the #AMR22, Nico coped well in Bahrain and we are sure he will do likewise in Jeddah.
— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) March 25, 2022
After testing positive for COVID-19 last week, Vettel was hoping for a negative test before the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, but when he couldn’t return a negative test, Hulkenberg will once again take the reign of the Aston Martin for him.
The team does however expect Vettel to be well enough to drive in the Australian Grand Prix on the 10th of February.
Hulkenberg has plenty of experience filling in for F1 drivers, with him standing in for Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll in 2022 for Racing Point. He said:
“It was interesting. It was difficult, very difficult to be honest, first time [racing] obviously in a long, long time.
“There’s so many things happening in the race, it’s so dynamic, the car balance is changing, the fuel load is changing, so it’s difficult to keep up with all these changes and stay on top of things.”