Aston Martin has officially confirmed that it has appointed Nico Hulkenberg its official reserve and development driver for the 2021 season.
The German driver already has extensive first-hand experience with the organisation, having raced for the team between 2012 and '16. He also contested two Grands Prix for Racing Point in 2020, deputising for Sergio Perez (the Anniversary GP, at Silverstone) and Lance Stroll (the Eifel GP, at Nurburgring).
The team will also benefit from the 33-year-old's considerable F1 pedigree – 176 race starts, including successful campaigns with Williams, Sauber and Renault, as well as his stints at Force India and Racing Point.
"First of all, it's great to get this deal signed up with plenty of notice," said Hulkenberg, "last year, I didn't have quite as much time to prepare before jumping in the car!
"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."
"We're delighted to be able to welcome Nico back to the team in an official capacity, as reserve and development driver, added Otmar Szafnauer. "In these difficult times, the requirement for a capable and experienced reserve driver is especially important.
"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."