Nico Hulkenberg's speculated move to IndyCar in 2020 looks unlikely after Ed Carpenter Racing dismissed rumors about the outgoing Renault driver joining the team.
With no seats available in F1 for next season, Hulkenberg considered heading west to America next year, with European media suggesting the 32-year-old could drive for ECR in a part-time programme that exclude racing on IndyCar's ovals.
However, ECR team owner Ed Carpenter, who announced on Thursday that the outfit had parted ways with Spencer Pigot, fueling more speculation around Hulkenberg's arrival, denied the German was in the frame for a seat with ECR in 2020.
"I am not ready to comment on our line-up outwardly, but that part is false," said Carpenter.
Queried on his IndyCar prospects in Brazil yesterday, Hulkenberg refused to divulge any specifics about his potential US plans, except that he wouldn't accept any deal that would involve oval racing.
"Ovals, I have always said I am not a fan of it, it just doesn’t strike me," he said. "It just seems like it’s not my thing. I’d keep it limited to the road courses."
If no compelling opportunities materialize, a year on the sidelines is probable for the Hulk.
"Sabbatical, I don’t know what you want to call it," he added.
"A decade in F1 is intense, living at that high pace. So that is why I just need to see how I feel once the new year starts, and how things develop and evolve, in which direction.
"Right now, I just don’t know, and I don’t want to think about it too much right now because I am still here."