Nico Hulkenberg says he is partly “excited” about some elements of not being on the Formula 1 grid for the 2020 season. 

Hulkenberg will be replaced at Renault by Esteban Ocon next year and has been unsuccessful in landing a seat elsewhere, with all the remaining spots on the 2020 grid already locked out. 

The German finished 12th in his last race for Renault at last weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which marks his 177th and final F1 race after a 10-year spell in the championship. 

“I’ve known for a while that this was coming but I’m fine about it,” Hulkenberg said in Abu Dhabi

“Also part of me is kind of excited about the times ahead, close this chapter and open a new one. 

“What might happen and might not happen in the future, I don’t know, nobody knows right now. 

“But for me obviously it’s good just to get away for a while and want to disconnect from racing for a few months and then see what I’m up to, where my head is and my heart, and reassess. 

“I’m not ruling out anything,” he added. “That’s why for me, it’s still fun at the moment and a big part of me is excited about that break that I’m going to get. 

“Just not living in this schedule, in this rhythm, having to do these things at these times that are preset. 

“This is obviously an amazing job and we’re all pretty fortunate to be in this industry. 

“Formula 1 is very unique, very cool and special but of course it’s kind of a preset life, you have to follow a schedule, all the trouble you do, all the commitment in between that we have as drivers that also not everybody sees or is aware of. 

“It can be quite intense at times. So just to get away from that.” 

Hulkenberg is yet to firm up any racing plans for 2020 amid links to a possible switch to America and competing in either IndyCar or NASCAR.