Audi F1 opportunity a ‘white piece of paper’ – Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg will leave Haas at the end of 2024 to join Audi's Formula 1 project, something the German says is a “blank slate” in terms of expectations.

The 36-year-old has signed a three-year contract that will see him join the first team with Stake F1 before the Sauber entry moves to the Audi works team for the 2026 season.

While the German marque will be a new name on the grid, by taking over an existing team, Hulkenberg's hope is that some of the difficulties faced by new teams will be minimized.

“It's hard to know,” he replied when asked. Racing News 365 What are his expectations for his first two or three years with the Henwell-based team? “It's really a piece of white paper.

“On the one hand, I think this is a good thing – it is not a new team, but it will be labeled as a new team – all the 'know-how' and advantages that the existing teams have have been erased a little bit, and it has become closer to the level.” Playground for everyone.

“So, it provides a good opportunity to be competitive right away, but the expectation is always to be successful as quickly as possible.”

“He looked convincing even before.”

While the second half of Audi's driver line-up is yet to be confirmed, the team in Hülkenberg is getting a wealth of experience, and someone known for his contributions to understanding the car and getting the most out of it – something the German feels is the case. Attract the team to him.

“I think they appreciate my experience,” he said, before adding: “Maybe my judgment, my feeling of being in the car, pushes the team towards development.”

In contrast, Hulkenberg was attracted to Audi, with what he called a “big opportunity” for him. Having made his Formula 1 debut in 2010, competing in more than 200 races, the 36-year-old is yet to reach a podium finish. He is now the most experienced driver in Formula 1 history without a trip to the podium on his CV.

“Obviously, they are, like all the teams here [in F1]You have a plan,” he answered when asked about the progress and goals the team has set for itself.

“They obviously have big ambitions. It's a huge project with ambitions. In racing for a manufacturer, there are always a lot of expectations, of course. But yes, they are pushing, as are the top teams.”

Audi will take 100% ownership of Sauber by 2026, having previously bought a minority stake in the team, with full control not originally part of the aircraft.

“It was their strategic decision – they felt this was what they needed to move forward and succeed with this project,” Hülkenberg answered when the change in approach was brought up, before concluding: “For me, it seemed convincing even before.”


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