Nico Hülkenberg is contesting his 200th Formula 1 race in Mexico. Before his anniversary, he talks about a poaching offer.
Formula 1 driver Nico Hülkenberg has confirmed negotiations about a commitment to Audi.
“There were discussions, there was interest, but at the end of the day it didn’t happen,” the 36-year-old told the TV channel Sky in Mexico before his 200th Grand Prix start. Audi wants to enter the racing series with a works team in 2026 and is already looking for experienced test and development drivers.
A possible move by Hülkenberg failed because he has already extended his contract with the US team Haas for 2024. “At the moment I’m at home here. And everything else is up in the air,” said Hülkenberg about the prospects for later joining Audi.
Audi takes over the Sauber team
Contact with Audi’s Formula 1 project came about through the German Andreas Seidl, the managing director of Sauber Motorsport. The car manufacturer from Ingolstadt is taking over the Swiss Sauber team. Audi hired the Swiss Neel Jani (39) as a simulator driver in June.
After three years with only a few temporary appearances, Hülkenberg only returned to Formula 1 this season. Despite a disappointing season so far, he said before his anniversary race: “It makes me happy, I do what I like. I enjoy it more than before.”
Only 21 drivers have achieved 200 race starts in more than 73 years of Formula 1. After Michael Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg, Hülkenberg is the fourth German to jump this mark.
To commemorate his racing career to date, Hülkenberg is starting with a special helmet design. His head protection shows pictures from his time as a young pilot, from his various Formula 1 stations and his family.
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