Nico Hulkenberg on second team that ‘gave everything’ for his signature in F1 2025 season

Michelle Foster
Nico Hulkenberg in the garage in China.

Nico Hulkenberg will leave Haas to join Sauber in 2025, which will then become Audi the following year.

Nico Hulkenberg has revealed Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu “gave everything” to re-sign him but that joining Audi was a bigger project to join.

Although F1 2024 is just six races into the championship, silly season is in full swing after Lewis Hamilton kicked it off even before pre-season testing.

Nico Hulkenberg: Audi is the ‘better sporting prospect’

Announcing he would be leaving Mercedes for Ferrari, one by one the 2025 grid is being decided with Hulkenberg the latest to resolve his future. And the last to swap teams.

The German, who returned to the grid with Haas last year, is off to Stake having signed a multi-year contract with the team that will be rebranded Audi come 2026.

For Hulkenberg, it wasn’t a “no-brainer” as Haas team boss Komatsu giving “everything” to retain him.

“I spoke to him openly about it a few weeks ago, that there was a good dynamic and that a decision would probably be made sooner rather than later,” the German driver said.

“He fought, he gave everything.

“The decision wasn’t a no-brainer for me. I’ve already given it some thought.

“Haas is the team that made my comeback possible. But at the end of the day, the better sporting prospect for me personally is simply with Audi.”

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Asked if there was anything Haas could’ve done given they’re the smallest team on the grid versus Audi’s works team status, Hulkenberg replied: “That comparison is not maybe the best one direct, but they are one of the 10 teams on the grid, so for sure, I was thinking about that too.

“And I was speaking to Ayo weeks and weeks ago, and telling him look, you know, there’s quite a lot of movement on the driver market.

“But one scenario is also I could imagine to stay, so there was also a coaxial parallel for sure.”

He added: “It’s a different pair of shoes, but for me, having been here now a year and this one quarter of a season, I feel very happy here.

“They were also the team that gave me the chance of a comeback. That obviously also carries some importance and appreciation from my side towards the team.

“Like in Force India days here as well, you’re the small team, the underdog team, but it’s quite cool to set those highlights, to have good results. It’s a different feeling compared to big works teams like Renault. Here, they celebrate those little moments much more and it’s a nice, cool environment.

“A happy, good environment. We’re also always pushing for more, but it’s a bit different. But that’s why, you know, it was parallel discussions, but then ultimately we decided to forget it, to turn left instead of right.”

Stake have yet to announce their second driver amidst reports they’ll field an all-new line-up next season with Carlos Sainz joining Hulkenberg.

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