Photo: Sauber

F1: Hülkenberg to join Sauber and become Audi’s first F1 driver

Nico Hülkenberg will join Sauber for the 2025 FIA Formula One World Championship and become Audi’s first F1 driver when they enter the sport in 2026.


The German driver currently competes for Haas, where he made his return to a full-time race seat following two seasons on the sidelines as a reserve driver.


He previously raced for the team during the 2013 season after joining from Force Inida. He would then depart at the end of the season to re-join the Force India team.


With Andrea Seidl confirmed as Team Principal for the Audi team, there will be a reunion with the pair following their success at the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans with Porsche.


Seidl said: “We are very pleased to welcome Nico back here in Hinwil from 2025 and to compete with him in Formula One. 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.”


Hulkenberg also commented: “I’m returning to the team I worked with back in 2013 and have fond memories of the strong team spirit in Switzerland,” said the racing driver from Emmerich-am-Rhein. “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. To represent the factory team of such a car brand with a power unit made in Germany is a great honour for me.”


The rumour mill over both who is teammate will be and who will replace him at Haas is well underway. Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu both currently driver for the Sauber team but there has been no indication so far if either driver will continue, with at least one missing out on a race seat at the team next season.

Carlos Sainz, who is being replaced at Ferrari next season with Lewis Hamilton, has long been the favourite for an Audi race seat, but with reports of unrest at Red Bull with thee possible departure of Adrian Newey, he might just wait that one out to see what happens.


But for Haas, it would appear that reserve driver Oliver Bearman is the favourite for a full-time race seat next season. The British driver made his Formula One debut in Saudi Arabia following Carlos Sainz’s absence and impressed with a 7th place finish in a car he only had FP3 and qualifying in before hand.

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