Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg detailed a WhatsApp group which connects German athletes living in Monaco, but 2016 F1 World Champion Nico Rosberg is not a member.
Monaco has long held significant pulling power when it comes to athletes moving to call the Principality home, with a host of Formula 1 figures, including the likes of Nico Rosberg, seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton and F1’s current dominant force Max Verstappen among those residing there.
Hulkenberg can be added to that list of F1 representatives, while German footballer Kevin Volland is also a Monaco resident, and a chance encounter between the pair led to an idea for how they could unite their compatriots living in Monaco.
Munich flight sewed the seeds for WhatsApp Group
Speaking to Bild, it was brought up that the duo had founded a German regulars’ table for those living in Monaco, with Volland and Hulkenberg asked to spill the beans on how this idea came to be.
“We met by chance on a plane at the beginning of 2021,” said Volland. “Nico was sitting one row behind me on a flight to Munich at the time. To this day I don’t know why, but I halfway liked Nico and was ready to see him again!
“It was clear to both of us that it would only make sense if we connected all the Germans who live here in a WhatsApp group,” Hulkenberg added.
“At the time, I was in early retirement from sport, so I had a lot of time on my hands and said to the guys, ‘Get a move on’. Then we had our first meeting soon after. The rest is history.”
Nico Hulkenberg confirms Nico Rosberg not in group
Hulkenberg explained that the group is very much geared towards having “a good time” and switching off the pressure from sport, with the likes of tennis star Alexander Zverev, plus footballers Alexander Nübel and Ismail Jakobs among the members.
A German who is not though is Rosberg, though Hulkenberg said that can easily change if the former Williams and Mercedes driver wanted to drop off his CV.
“He hasn’t sent us a membership application yet,” said Hulkenberg. “But he is welcome to do so at any time. A CV and a nice photo should suffice.”
Hulkenberg has impressed following his full-time return to the grid for F1 2023 with Haas, but with the team struggling to turn qualifying pace into race results, the German racer has only six points to show for his efforts so far.
His most recent outing saw him provisionally qualify on the front row at the Canadian Grand Prix, though a penalty would bump him down three spots before going on to a P15 finish in the race.