Nico Hulkenberg will be Aston Martin's reserve driver during the 2021 Formula 1 season.

The ex-Racing Point outfit did not appoint an official reserve driver last season but called up its former driver Hulkenberg to deputise for the team at three races last year when Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll were ruled out with positive COVID-19 tests.

Following his impressive outings as an F1 ‘super-sub’ in 2020, the rebranded Aston Martin squad has signed Hulkenberg in an official reserve driver capacity to be on standby for team regulars Sebastian Vettel and Stroll this year.

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“First of all, it’s great to get this deal signed up with plenty of notice – last year, I didn’t have quite as much time to prepare before jumping in the car,” said Hulkenberg.

“I’m really pleased to once again work with this team – with whom I have driven many times during my career. Obviously, I’m hoping that Sebastian and Lance enjoy uninterrupted seasons this year, but the team knows it can rely on me to step in and do an excellent job, and I’m fully prepared to take on that challenge.

“It will also be interesting to help develop the team through the season, and I’m really looking forward to pulling great lap-times out of my arm sleeve.”

Hulkenberg, who has contested 176 races for Williams, Sauber, Renault and Force India/Racing Point, will also carry out a development role for the Silverstone-based team.

Aston Martin CEO and team principal Otmar Szafnauer believes his side will benefit greatly from the 33-year-old German’s experience.

“In these difficult times, the requirement for a capable and experienced reserve driver is especially important,” Szafnauer added.

“Nico proved last year that he could jump in the car and perform superbly at a moment’s notice; now, with additional scope for preparation and integration, we know that we can rely on Nico to do an excellent job.”

Mercedes, who supply the Aston Martin team with power units, will have ‘first call’ on Hulkenberg if it requires his services at F1 events that clash with Formula E when its official reserve drivers Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries are unavailable.