Haas confirm Nico Hulkenberg exit ahead of Audi switch

The German driver joined Haas last year but will leave the American-owned team at the end of the season

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Friday 26 April 2024 09:54 BST
New team principal Ayao Komatsu speaks as Haas F1 look forward to the new season

Haas have confirmed the departure of Nico Hulkenberg at the end of the season with the German joining Sauber in 2025.

The 36-year-old returned to the sport last season after replacing Mick Schumacher at the American-owned team. He currently sits 13th in the drivers’ standings after three top-10 finishes so far this season.

Yet with Sauber becoming the Audi works team in 2026, Hulkenberg will move to Sauber in 2025 and will become an Audi driver in 2026, having signed a multi-year deal.

His departure from Haas could also pave the way for British teen Ollie Bearman, who made his debut for Ferrari in Saudi Arabia last month, to join the grid next year.

“The prospect of competing for Audi is something very special,” said Hulkenberg.

“When a German manufacturer enters Formula One 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.”

Chief executive of the future Audi F1 team Andreas Seidl added: “With his speed, his experience and his commitment to teamwork, he will be an important part of the transformation of our team – and of Audi’s F1 project.

“Right from the start, there was great mutual interest in building something long-term together. Nico is a strong personality, and his input, on a professional and personal level, will help us to make progress both in the development of the car and in building up the team.”

Nico Hulkenberg will join Sauber in 2025
Nico Hulkenberg will join Sauber in 2025 (Getty Images)

Hulkenberg finished 16th in the driver standings last year and scored nine points - six more than team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

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.”

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