Nico Hulkenberg has played down the chances of him returning to Williams for the 2020 Formula 1 season, believing he is “not the right person” for the team.

Hulkenberg is facing a race against time to remain on the F1 grid next year after losing his Renault seat to Esteban Ocon and missing out on a drive with Haas.

The only two viable options for Hulkenberg in 2020 are at Alfa Romeo and Williams, the latter being the team he made his F1 debut with back in 2010.

But Hulkenberg said on Thursday in Austin that he could not see himself replacing Robert Kubica at Williams next year, believing neither party was good fit for one another.

“I think they need somebody else. I think I’m not the right person, the right driver for them,” Hulkenberg said.

“Where I am in my career, where they are, and the timings, I just don’t think it’s the right timing for us.

“With all due respect to the team, and obviously I’ve raced for them and everything, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Hulkenberg acknowledged that meant “there’s only one option” – joining Alfa Romeo, who he raced for in its previous Sauber guise in 2013 – and said he could see himself racing for the team.

Asked when he expected to formalise his plans, Hulkenberg joked: “I expected that two months ago. But here we are.

“I can’t tell. And I’d rather not put a date on it.”

Alfa Romeo is yet to confirm its second seat for 2020 alongside Kimi Raikkonen, but team boss Frederic Vasseur has regularly talked up Antonio Giovinazzi’s chances of retaining the drive.

Additional reporting by Julianne Cerasoli.

 

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