Nico Hulkenberg returns to the Formula 1 cockpit in Bahrain. During the test drives, the experienced driver gets to know his new company car. The world champion is the fastest on day one.
Formula 1 returnee Nico Hülkenberg made a decent start at the US racing team Haas in the test drives before the season opener.
“All in all it was positive. I got my first impressions,” said the 35-year-old in Bahrain. The first of only three test days took place in the desert state on the Persian Gulf. For Hülkenberg, as successor to Mick Schumacher, it was the first real day at work with his new team behind the wheel. “It was exciting to get back in the car and feel the power of Formula 1. I’ve been waiting for it,” said Hulkenberg.
After his contract with Renault ended at the end of 2019, the Rhinelander had not had a regular place in Formula 1 for the past three years before he signed with Haas. “It went pretty well, we did almost everything we wanted to do,” said Hulkenberg, who only played in the morning before his Danish team-mate Kevin Magnussen took over. Experienced Hülkenberg completed a total of 50 laps on the track in Sakhir in his new company car, a time of 1:34.424 minutes meant eleventh place out of 19 drivers at the end of the day.
Two-time world champion Max Verstappen set the fastest lap. In his Red Bull, the 25-year-old Dutchman could not be beaten in 1:32.837 minutes even before the first race on March 5th at the same place. Behind Verstappen, the Spaniard Fernando Alonso finished second in the Aston Martin, third was Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari.
Mick Schumacher was also at the track in his capacity as the new Mercedes reserve driver and observed the test drives, which lasted until Saturday. The 23-year-old did not get a new contract after two years with Haas and was replaced by Hülkenberg.
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