Nico Hulkenberg reveals contract talks “in different places”

Jaden Diaz
14/04/2024

Nico Hulkenberg reveals that he is exploring many options across the F1 grid. With several seats available for next season, the 36-year-old is working to find the best possible destination. As reported over the winter break, Hulkenberg is a driver with more than one option for 2025.

A little over a year ago, there was scepticism surrounding Hulkenberg’s return to the grid. Having spent three seasons away from a full-time drive, there were many who dismissed his chances of competing at a high level. As ever, there were calls for younger drivers to be given an opportunity.

However, this narrative disintegrated very quickly. Hulkenberg strung together multiple stand-out performances last season, including his qualifying efforts in Canada. Throughout the season, he consistently maximised his car – both in qualifying and race trim.

This year, with a more competitive Haas underneath him, the Le Mans winner has started the year strongly once again. With three points in four rounds, the German driver has helped put Haas into 7th in the standings – one of only seven teams to score points in 2024.

SUZUKA, JAPAN – APRIL 04: Nico Hulkenberg, Haas F1 Team, talks to the press during the Japanese GP at Suzuka on Thursday April 04, 2024 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Mark Sutton / LAT Images)

HULKENBERG IN TALKS WITH MANY TEAMS

Still, towards the end of last season, he expressed some frustration with the lack of development at Haas.

With this in mind, it is not unreasonable to expect Hulkenberg to explore other options. This is especially true when he confirmed only months ago that Sauber tried to sign him for 2024. It is understood that this interest persists – especially as Audi hopes to sign a driver of Hulkenberg’s profile before 2026.

Speaking to the media in Suzuka, the Haas driver was candid about his perspective on the market:

“Personally, I think it’s still kind of early doors in the season, but I think balls have started rolling in different places,” PlanetF1 quotes him as saying.

“I think it [will be 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.”

At this stage, many drivers will be in conversations with virtually all teams that have vacancies. In this sense, there is nothing revolutionary about Hulkenberg’s comments.

That said, it will be intriguing to observe the driver’s merry-go-round in the midfield. For all the attention paid towards Red Bull and the front-running teams, there will be equally important moves towards the back.

For Nico Hulkenberg specifically, a move to Sauber / Audi is seen as the most realistic step forward. This would also make way for Ferrari junior driver Oliver Bearman to join Haas next year.

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