Formula 1

Formula 1: Nico Hulkenberg to join Sauber for 2025

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Nico Hulkenberg will join Kick Sauber next year on a multi-year deal ahead of its evolution into Audi for the 2026 season.

Nico Hulkenberg will be returning to the team after having been there for the 2013 season, where he partnered Esteban Gutierrez, where he finished 10th in the standings on 51 points before moving to Force India the following year.

The German has enjoyed a career renaissance since he was dropped by Renault in 2019. He was drafted in by Racing Point three times over the course of 2020 to replace Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll on separate occasions due to them falling ill with the COVID-19 virus.

He would go on to make another two cameo appearances for the team now known as Aston Martin at the start of the 2022 season after Sebastian Vettel after he too tested positive for COVID-19. He would go on to gain a full-time seat with Haas for 2023, where he would put in impressive performances, particularly in qualifying as he would make semi-regular appearances in Q3.

Hulkenberg had been rumoured to join the team for a while, as it had been suggested that Audi wanted a German driver to make up part of their line-up ahead of their entry into Formula 1 in 2026.

Sauber Motorsport AG CEO Andreas Seidl has said he is very pleased to have Nico Hulkenberg return to the team. with the acquisition of Nico Hulkenberg. “With his speed, his experience and his commitment to teamwork, he will be an important part of the transformation of our team – and of Audi’s F1 project.

“Right from the start, there was great mutual interest in building something long-term together. Nico is a strong personality, and his input, on a professional and personal level, will help us to make progress both in the development of the car and in building up the team.”

Haas Team Principal Ayao Komatsu is grateful for the service that Hulkenberg has provided since joining the team last season, stating “He’s been a great team player and someone we very much enjoy working with. His experience and feedback have proved invaluable to us in terms of improving our overall performance – a fact that’s clearly evident in both his qualifying and race performances in the VF-24 this season.

“There’s lots more racing to go this year so we look forward to continuing to benefit from his inputs throughout the remainder of the 2024 season.”

Speaking on the move, Nico Hulkenberg said “I’m returning to the team I worked with back in 2013 and have fond memories of the strong team spirit in Switzerland.

“The prospect of competing for Audi is something very special. When a German manufacturer enters Formula 1 with such determination, it is a unique opportunity. To represent the factory team of such a car brand with a power unit made in Germany is a great honour for me.”

There has been no confirmation as to who will partner Hulkenberg at Kick Sauber for next season. However, when asked about the prospect of Carlos Sainz joining Red Bull, Helmut Marko had suggested that Audi had made a “very lucrative offer” for the Spaniard that could not be matched by the reigning world champions.

Haas will now need to dip into the driver market as the chaotic nature of this year’s ‘silly season’ is in full effect. Hulkenberg will still have another 19 races to compete in before making the switch, hoping to continue a strong start to the season with the American-based team, having already scored points at three of the first five races this season.


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