A return to Formula 1 remains the top priority for Nico Hulkenberg, who says he will “definitely grab” a competitive opportunity that “excites” him.

Hulkenberg faces a year on the sidelines after losing his seat at the end of the 2019 as Renault chose to sign Esteban Ocon to partner Daniel Ricciardo for this season.

The German was linked to seats at Haas and Alfa Romeo but ultimately missed out on both, leaving him absent from the F1 grid for the first time in almost a decade.

In an interview with CNN, Hulkenberg said a comeback in the "near future” remained high among his goals.

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"I'm very much up for it. That's still my goal, my aim," Hulkenberg said.

"But at the moment it's obviously really tricky to say. A lot of factors are in there, and everything is kind of upside down anyway.

"But I'm staying in connection and in contact with people. It's still kind of a bit early, but if there's a chance, I will definitely grab it.

"If it's a good opportunity and something that really excites me and gets me going, then definitely I will push for that.”

Even though the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has meant the 2020 F1 season has been unable to get going, Hulkenberg admits he felt disconnected during pre-season testing and is missing racing.

“During testing I was kind of disconnected,” he added. “That was also a time when I was travelling away from Europe and I didn’t follow testing too much, to be honest.

“But I followed up and caught up with a few people from Formula 1 to get a feel for what’s going on.

“Obviously no one’s really been in a race car but for me, since Abu Dhabi, it does feel like I want to get back in one of those things in the future, near future. But we’re obviously all waiting for it to happen again.”

But Hulkenberg - who did not pursue a chance to return to Williams off the back of its dire 2019 campaign - stressed he would only be interested in a competitive team that would allow him to consistently challenge the top 10.

"I'm not saying obviously for victory, but at least that something you could work with, a car and a weapon that allows you to at least go for a top 10," he explained.

"I miss it, working with your team, with your guys, beating the others, sometimes more than other times. It's fun, and I do miss a lot of that."