Nico Hulkenberg says links to Red Bull have gone “very, very quiet” in his bid to return to Formula 1 on a full-time basis next season.

Following his Renault axe at the end of 2019, the German has made three cameos for Racing Point this season as stand-in for regulars Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll when the pair were ruled out of both Silverstone rounds and the Eifel Grand Prix respectively due to contracting coronavirus.

Hulkenberg has made the most of his unexpected opportunities to try and enhance his prospects for sealing a return to the grid for 2021, but his options are running low due to a lack of available remaining seats.

He is currently going head-to-head with former teammate Sergio Perez - who is also finds himself as a free agent after being dropped by Racing Point in favour of Sebastian Vettel - for a shot at Red Bull for next year if the team decides to replace Alex Albon in its line-up.

During an appearance on Red Bull’s Servus TV channel, Hulkenberg provided an update about his situation, admitting that many of his links over a possible return have recently gone cold.

"Of course I hope for a good return in the future, but there is nothing else to report," Hulkenberg said.

"It is very, very quiet at the moment. The reports have calmed down a bit, and I think it will be a while before there is really any final clarity.

"The stones have already fallen for many teams,” he added. “The cards are laid. I had my two [race] chances and used them as good as I could.

"I'm not actively involved now anyway, but of course I'm in contact with the people that matter. But not every week now, not every day.”

Hulkenberg insisted he is remaining relaxed about the situation regarding his future and says his only option is to wait potentially for any opportunity that might come his way.

“I let it come to me,” he explained. “I am quite relaxed. It's not in my hands.

"That's why I am on standby, so to speak. And of course I hope that there will be a comeback and a chance, which I would be very motivated and keen to do. But we just need a little patience until the final decision is made.”

And while he waits, Hulkenberg said he is focusing on keeping himself fit in case there are any further last-minute call ups during the remainder of the 2020 season.

"If it does open, it's completely unpredictable anyway," he said. "The last two times this happened, it was super spontaneous.

"Of course I can't assume and don't expect that something will happen every weekend. But of course it can happen.

"We know ourselves how unpredictable the situation is at the moment. That's why I simply have to keep myself fit and ready. And I do that too.”

 

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