Hulkenberg to leave Haas at the end of 2024, joins Audi for 2025
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By Robert Hansford profile image Robert Hansford
3 min read

Hulkenberg to leave Haas at the end of 2024, joins Audi for 2025

He is set to join forces with Audi for the 2025 F1 season

Nico Hulkenberg will leave Haas at the end of the 2024 Formula 1 season, and will join Audi as it prepares to enter the championship in earnest in 2026.

Hulkenberg joined Haas for the 2023 season, having spent three years largely on the sidelines after leaving Renault at the end of 2019. 

But his return to F1 racing with the American team hasn’t gone entirely to plan with Haas underperforming last year. It meant that Hulkenberg ended the year 16th in the standings with just nine points.

2024 has proved to be a better start, with Hulkenberg having picked up three points finishes in five grands prix and he has regularly outperformed his team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

However, he has now decided the time is right to move on and is set to begin a new project, with it being confirmed that he will join Audi on a multi-year deal as it begins its foray into the championship in 2026.

Speaking about the announcement, Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu said: “I’d like to extend my thanks to Nico for his contributions to the team in the time that he’s been here with us – he’s been a great team player and someone we very much enjoy working with.

"His experience and feedback have proved invaluable to us in terms of improving our overall performance – a fact that’s clearly evident in both his qualifying and race performances in the VF-24 this season.

"There’s lots more racing to go this year so we look forward to continuing to benefit from his inputs throughout the remainder of the 2024 season.”

With Hulkenberg signing for Audi, it means he will return to the Swiss base where he spent the 2013 season.

The team will still race under the Sauber banner for 2025, but the lure of racing for an iconic manufacturer is what enticed him to return.

"I'm returning to the team I worked with back in 2013 and have fond memories of the strong team spirit in Switzerland," said Hulkenberg.

"The prospect of competing for Audi is something very special. When a German manufacturer enters Formula 1 with such determination, it is a unique opportunity.

"To represent the factory team of such a car brand with a power unit made in Germany is a great honour for me."

Hulkenberg’s impending switch to Sauber/Audi for 2025 continues an emerging trend with more experienced drivers having their services retained well into their 30s and 40s.

Both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have signed contracts with Aston Martin and Ferrari respectively, extending their F1 careers well into their 40s, while at the age of 36, Hulkenberg has guaranteed that he’ll be in the championship as he heads towards a similar age.

Taking on an experienced driver is a sensible move from Audi though. It’s known to be courting the services of Carlos Sainz, but by signing Hulkenberg now, it has ensured it has a capable and mature driver who can be depended on to bring home regular points if the car is capable enough.

This also buys Audi time to focus its energy on signing Sainz, who is also being pursued by other teams, including Red Bull.

It also means that Audi is unlikely to retain the services of either Valtteri Bottas or Zhou Guanyu who are currently racing for the team under the Sauber name this year.

By Robert Hansford profile image Robert Hansford
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