Fans of German F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg will be delighted to hear that he is officially back in the sport. He has joined Aston Martin in a reserve and development driver role this season.

Hulkenberg made quite an impact in 2020 after he was called upon to take over from Sergio Perez when the Mexican tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the British Grand Prix. At the time, Aston Martin was still called Racing Point. It was a mad dash for Hulkenberg to make it in time for Friday practice after Perez was found positive on Thursday following a trip back to Mexico to visit his sick mother.

Welcome home, @HulkHulkenberg. ??

Here's everything you need to know about the Hulk's new role as reserve and development driver for the 2021 season. #Hulkenback ?

— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) April 8, 2021

Hulkenberg drove in place of Perez twice, and was called back again when their other driver, Lance Stroll, also tested positive later in the season. On that occasion, he barely made it to the paddock for qualifying.

The German drove for the outfit back in 2012-2016, while it was still called Force India. He lost his seat after Lawrence Stroll took over the team and brought in his son, Lance. However, the 33-year-old enjoyed a quick comeback last season after the two drivers fell ill.

"The team knows it can rely on me to step in and do an excellent job, and I'm fully prepared for that challenge," said Hulkenberg as quoted by BBC.

Perez has since moved to Red Bull racing, with four-time champion Sebastian Vettel taking his place beside Stroll. Hulkenberg is expected to help the team by working on the simulator and providing his input to help develop the car.

"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!," he added.

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer said, "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."

Aston Martin
Racing Point F1 team renamed Aston Martin from 2021 AFP / BEN STANSALL