F1 2024 high performer teases multiple options as Audi rumours swirl

Henry Valantine
Nico Hulkenberg at the VF-24 launch in Bahrain with prominent badges of Haas, Audi and Aston Martin alongside him

Nico Hulkenberg could emerge as a key player in F1's driver market this year

Nico Hulkenberg has hinted at a “pretty interesting” period in his contract negotiations, after saying “balls have started rolling in different places”.

The Haas driver has impressed since his return to Formula 1, and has scored points in two of the opening four races this season as his stock continues to stay high on the driver market – with a possible move to Sauber, who will become Audi in 2026, rumoured for next season.

Nico Hulkenberg: ‘Balls have started rolling’ on F1 future

More than half the grid remain out of contract for next season as it stands, with Fernando Alonso the most recent driver to commit his future to the grid after extending his deal with Aston Martin for another two seasons.

Hulkenberg has started well once again alongside Kevin Magnussen at a much-improved Haas so far in 2024, and while he has been through the negotiation process plenty of times before, Hulkenberg has started early in trying to sort out his future.

Seats are available up and down the grid, as well as both Haas seats being out of contract this year, and the German driver said that, while it is still early, he has started the process of trying to secure his future beyond 2024.

“You know, personally, I think it’s still kind of early doors in the season, but I think balls have started rolling in different places,” Hulkenberg told media in Suzuka.

“I think it’s [a] pretty interesting couple of weeks ahead. But personally, I’m in no big rush, you know, that I need to have it done tomorrow.

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“[What is] important is also to stay focused with the season, optimise every session and get the most out of the weekend.

“I’ve done it many times [negotiated contracts] and if that distracts you, it’s bad for you, bad for business.

“We have to be able to separate the in car on-track stuff with the future and other negotiations and conversations you have.

“The experience and all those years here help, and having run through these cycles probably makes you more relaxed about the whole situation.”

Haas are an early P7 in the Constructors’ Championship as things stand thanks to Hulkenberg’s points finishes in Jeddah and Australia, supplemented by a point for Magnussen in Melbourne.

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