Nico Hulkneberg Will Depart Haas To Join Sauber- Future Audi With Multi-Year Deal

Friday, 26 April 2024 at 11:01
Updated at Friday, 26 April 2024 at 11:30
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Haas and Sauber F1 teams officially announced Nico Hulkenberg would be changing his seat in F1 after the end of the 2024 season with a multi-year deal.
Speculations emerged on April 24th that German F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg unofficially already occupied a seat in Sauber (Audi from 2026) from 2025 onwards.
The only thing that was missing was the driver's signature. However, everything seems to be finalized now, as both Haas and Sauber officially announced (on 26 April) that the 36-year-old driver will be changing teams in 2025.
Even though Hulkenberg joining Sauber, which is currently behind Haas in the Championship, might not make sense in the short term, it is very much a long-term play from Hulkenberg, who will be looking forward to Audi's takeover in 2026.
Audi is a serious competitor that comes into F1 with the ambition of competing for the title as soon as possible. However, the first few seasons will be challenging, and the German manufacturer will need an experienced driver in their seat.
The partnership with the German F1 driver is one that makes sense. Hulkenberg is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid and one of the best qualifiers on the grid on whom the team can rely. The team principal of Haas, Ayao Komatsu, wrote in the statement concerning Hulkenbergs departure:

'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 – 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."