F1 veteran Nico Hulkenberg slated for IndyCar test with Arrow McLaren SP at Barber

Nico Hulkenberg IndyCar test
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Nico Hulkenberg will become the latest Formula One-affiliated driver to explore the NTT IndyCar Series with a test next week.

Hülkenberg, who made 179 F1 starts from 2010-20, will drive a Dallara-Chevrolet with Arrow McLaren SP at Barber Motorsports Park.

In a release Wednesday, the team described Hülkenberg’s Oct. 25 test as an “evaluation” that will “enable Hülkenberg to experience an IndyCar for the first time, a one-off opportunity he has agreed with the team.”

IndyCar has become an attractive option for F1 veterans and prospects in a pipeline that be difficult to break through to the top rung.

After a dazzling part-time rookie season, Romain Grosjean signed a multiyear deal to join Andretti Autosport full time in 2022, and Callum Ilott, a reserve driver for Aston Martin, will race for Juncos Hollinger Racing in IndyCar next season.

Hülkenberg’s test apparently isn’t tied yet to a ride with Arrow McLaren SP, which said it “continues to evaluate a future third car program, however its focus for  2022 remains on the No. 5 Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet driven by Pato O’Ward and the No. 7 Vuse Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet driven by Felix Rosenqvist.”

Hülkenberg, 34, finished a career-best fourth three times during an F1 career that included stops with Sauber, Force India, Renault and Williams. The German also scored an overall win in the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans with Porsche.

“I am pleased to try out an Indy car and see what it’s all about,” Hülkenberg said in a release. “I want to thank Arrow McLaren SP and Chevy for the opportunity at relatively short notice. It will be great to drive a car for the first time and get a feel for the series.”

Said Taylor Kiel, Arrow McLaren SP president: “We’re looking forward to welcoming Nico and giving him his first taste of IndyCar in an Arrow McLaren SP Chevrolet. Barber will be a great track for him to get his first laps and gain some miles in a new form of open-wheel racing.”