Nico Hulkenberg sees no chance of returning to the F1 grid next season, revealing that he is not in talks with Alfa Romeo Racing over the team's second seat.
With all but the identity of Valtteri Bottas' future teammate confirmed for F1's class of 2022, Hulkenberg will be left out in the cold for the second year running.
The German, who holds the unenviable record in F1 of having taking part in the most Grands Prix without scoring a podium, last raced in F1 in 2020 when he filled in for Racing Point's Covid-sidelined drivers Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll at three races.
Hulkenberg has since kept his ear to the ground and remains Aston Martin's official reserve driver. But the hope of returning full time to the fray has inevitably faded away for the 34-yaer-old.
"There are no talks with Alfa Romeo," Hulkenberg told Germany's Bild.
"After all, that would have been the last option for a permanent seat in 2022, after all the other cockpits have been allocated."
Hulkenberg added that "life goes on" and that he had received "exciting enquiries from other series" that he will consider.
"I'm in no hurry to make a decision," he said. "I'll sort everything out and see how things progress".