Nico Hulkenberg confirmed by Audi Sauber for 2025 F1

Nico Hulkenberg confirmed by Audi Sauber for 2025 F1

Nico Hulkenberg will be leaving Haas at the end of the 2024 season to join Audi and Sauber’s joint project for 2025 F1.

Nico Hulkenberg’s long-suspected move to Audi has finally been confirmed with the German manufacturer stating he has signed a multi-year contract with Sauber and will start driving for the factory team in 2026.

He will be driving for Sauber as early as 2025 and accompany the transformation to the factory team following complete takeover of the former to accelerate preparations for the brand’s entry into F1.

“The signing of Nico is the next milestone for Audi’s Formula 1 project,” Audi F1 Team CEO Andreas Seidl said. “With his speed, his experience and his dedicated teamwork, he will make an important contribution to Audi’s entry in 2026 as early as next year.

“Right from the start, there was great mutual interest in tackling a project of this uniqueness together.

“Nico is a strong personality, his determination and desire 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.”

Hulkenberg will actually find himself in familiar territory next season, having raced for Sauber during the 2013 F1 season.

“The prospect of competing for Audi is something very special,” Hulkenberg said. “When a German manufacturer enters Formula 1 with such determination, it’s a unique opportunity.

“To represent the factory team of such a car brand with a power unit made in Germany is a great honor for me.”

Hulkenberg has competed in 208 grands prix over 13 seasons in Formula 1 since joining the grid in 2010 as the reigning GP2 champion. He recently matched Andrea de Cesaris’s record for the most grand prix starts without a victory with his 208th grand prix start in China.

Hulkenberg returned to the F1 grid in 2023 after three seasons away from F1, although he took part in two races in 2020 and in two more events in 2022 as Racing Point/Aston Martin’s reserve driver.

Haas opted to bring him in to partner Kevin Magnussen and since then, his value has risen significantly thanks to some impressive qualifying performances. This year, the German driver has scored three top-ten finishes with Haas in the first five races of 2024.

The American outfit has thanked Hulkenberg for his efforts but team principal Ayao Komatsu said there was still more work to do this year.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to Nico for his contributions to the team in the time that he’s been here with us,” Komatsu said. “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.”

The signing of Nico Hulkenberg follows the plan announced in March to take over Sauber completely and the appointment of Oliver Hoffmann as General Representative of the Board of Management of Audi for the Formula 1 commitment.

In this role, Hoffmann also chairs the boards of directors of all Sauber companies and the shareholders’ meeting of Audi Formula Racing GmbH, which is responsible for the development of the power unit at the Neuburg site.

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