Nico Hulkenberg set for massive salary rise as Audi’s F1 entry plans go ‘full throttle’

Oliver Harden
A close-up shot of a smiling Nico Hulkenberg with a prominent Audi logo alongside him

Nico Hulkenberg has become Audi's first driver signing, but who will join him in F1 2025?

Nico Hulkenberg is reportedly in line for a massive salary boost when he arrives at Sauber for the F1 2025 season as Audi’s entry plans go “full throttle.”

Audi are stepping up their plans for their highly anticipated F1 2026 entry, when the German manufacturer will officially take control of the existing Sauber team.

Nico Hulkenberg’s reported Audi F1 salary

Last month, Audi made their first big splash in the driver market by announcing the signing of Hulkenberg from Haas.

The identity of Hulkenberg’s team-mate is yet to be revealed, with Audi heavily linked with a move for outgoing Ferrari star Carlos Sainz over the last 12 months.

Red Bull have also been mentioned as a potential destination for Sainz, but long-serving adviser Helmut Marko recently conceded that the Constructors’ Champions cannot match the offer of a “very lucrative” three-year contract proposed by Audi.

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And in an indication of the lengths Audi are willing to go to secure their top targets, a report by German publication Bild has claimed Hulkenberg is poised to earn €5million per season from 2025.

That is said to be a considerable improvement on the €2m per year he currently earns at Haas, with whom he returned to the grid in F1 2023 after a three-year absence.

Facing the media for the first time since it was announced that he will join Audi at last weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, Hulkenberg revealed the deal was finalised quickly after the Swiss-based outfit first showed an interest in re-signing him last year.

The 36-year-old, who previously spent a single season with Sauber in 2013 before enjoying spells with Force India and Renault, said: “It just happened. I don’t know how it actually happened [laughs].

“Like normal, obviously at some point you start talking and obviously, as we all know, it has been and still is a very dynamic, fluid driver market situation.

“Already there was interest last year, but obviously I’m here and there was an opportunity, but the interest still seemed to be there from their side and they were quite keen and matched interest for the future going forward.

“It’s a very exciting, interesting project and hence the [quick] agreement.”

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