Hulkenberg to race for Sauber next season

Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg has scored four of Haas's five points so far this season alongside Danish teammate Kevin Magnussen. File photo: AFP/Pedro Pardo

London: German driver Nico Hulkenberg will race for Sauber next season and then the Audi works Formula One team from 2026 after signing a multi-year contract, they announced on Friday.

The 36-year-old is currently with Haas, who earlier confirmed his departure at the end of the current campaign and have been linked to Ferrari-backed British teenager Oliver Bearman.

Sauber will become the Audi factory team in 2026.

"The prospect of competing for Audi is something very special. When a German manufacturer enters Formula One with such determination, it is a unique opportunity," said Hulkenberg, who raced for Sauber in 2013.

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

Sauber Motorsport CEO and future Audi team boss Andreas Seidl hailed his compatriot as an important part of the transformation of the team and Audi's F1 project.

"Right from the start, there was great mutual interest in building something long-term together," he said.

"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."

Hulkenberg has scored four of Haas's five points so far this season alongside Danish teammate Kevin Magnussen.

The German, a Le Mans 24 Hours winner with Porsche in 2015 when Seidl was in charge of that team, returned to Formula One in 2023 after three years without a regular drive.

He has started 208 races in his Formula One career without once standing on the podium, a record that he would like to be rid of.

"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," said Haas team boss Ayao Komatsu.

"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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