Nico Hulkenberg says he is “not desperate” to stay in Formula 1 as he considers his options for the 2020 season after missing out on a drive with Haas.

After losing his current Renault seat to Esteban Ocon for next year, Hulkenberg was in talks with Haas as a potential replacement for Romain Grosjean, only for the team to announce on Thursday it would be retaining the Frenchman.

Hulkenberg said the news did not come as a surprise to him as he “could see it coming”, leaving him with no disappointment over missing out on the drive.

“I didn’t pursue that deal,” Hulkenberg said. “We didn’t go ahead, we didn’t agree it, we didn’t get together with Haas. That’s the consequence out of that.

“Haas was definitely an option, and we were talking. That’s definitely not a secret. We just didn’t get together, on this occasion we couldn’t agree a deal.”

The news has left Hulkenberg with limited options if he is to remain in F1 next year. Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Alfa Romeo and Williams are the only teams with a vacant seat for 2020, with the latter two being the more realistic options.

Asked by Crash.net if he saw Alfa Romeo as his best shot to remain in F1, Hulkenberg said: “I think you see and understand for yourself what is still available, which seats and which not. I think that’s pretty obvious.

“Right now, I don’t know. I think it’s to an extent out of my control now, out of my hands. So most important is to drive and to perform. I think we just need time.

“I think there are possibilities and a realistic chance, but in this game, you can never be too sure.”

Hulkenberg conceded that he would have to consider Williams’ current on-track performance struggles and ongoing rebuild if he were to return to the team he debuted with in 2010, stressing the need for a workable deal.

“As much as I want to continue in Formula 1, for me it needs to make sense. It needs to be sensible, it needs to be the right deal,” Hulkenberg said.

“I’m not desperate to stay in Formula 1 and just take anything. I’m not disregarding or disrespecting Williams, I mean in generally, globally, even with Haas now.

“That for me, that is the most important thing for me.”

Haas F1 chief Gunther Steiner claimed earlier on Thursday that the team made no offer to Hulkenberg before it ultimately decided to retain Grosjean.

But Hulkenberg said talks were “serious” with the American team.

“It was serious, but it is hard for me to go into too much detail. It is all confidential and sensitive information and I can’t really comment,” he said.

Asked by Crash.net if he received an offer from Haas, Hulkenberg said: “We had. We did, of course.”

 

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