Red Bull not considering Hulkenberg after Haas snub

By Sports Desk September 20, 2019

Red Bull boss Christian Horner has confirmed Nico Hulkenberg is not being considered for a seat alongside Max Verstappen in the 2020 Formula One season.

Hulkenberg is without a team for next year after Renault signed Esteban Ocon, while a mooted move to Haas did not come to pass as Romain Grosjean's services were retained this week.

Haas boss Guenther Steiner explained on Friday: "We talked with [Hulkenberg] and, in the end, decided to go with Romain."

Appearing alongside Steiner at a news conference at the Singapore Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo's Frederic Vasseur and Red Bull chief Horner were also asked about the possibility of bringing in Hulkenberg.

"We are focused with Antonio [Giovinazzi]," said Vasseur.

Red Bull's second driver for next season remains uncertain. However, Horner insisted they will choose between Alex Albon, who holds the seat, and Toro Rosso duo Daniil Kyvat and Pierre Gasly.

"We don't need to be in any rush," Horner said. "All the drivers that are under consideration are under contract, so we're in a unique position where we don't need to rush anything.

"So we'll take the fullness of time to look and evaluate the progress of Alex and measure it against Dany and Pierre.

"Nico isn't on our list. He's a great driver and it would be a great shame not to see him continue in Formula One next year.

"He's a professional driver that arguably hasn't achieved his potential in Formula One.

"I very much hope for him that he does find a seat because he's better than some other drivers that are on the grid and he should be in Formula One."

Red Bull were primed to challenge in Singapore with Verstappen performing well in practice on Friday.

The Dutchman was fastest in FP1 with a time of one minute, 40.259 seconds, just ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Charles Leclerc and Valtteri Bottas retired early from that session, with the latter crashing into the barrier at turn 19.

Lewis Hamilton then edged out Verstappen by 0.184secs in FP2, running a best time of 1:38.773.

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