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Other SportsFormula One: Hulkenberg confirmed as Audi's first driver as German swaps Haas...

Formula One: Hulkenberg confirmed as Audi’s first driver as German swaps Haas for Sauber

Nico Hulkenberg says he is “honoured” to be confirmed as Audi’s first Formula One driver, agreeing to join Sauber in 2025 before the team is taken over by the German manufacturer for 2026.

Hulkenberg went three years without a permanent spot on the grid after leaving Renault at the end of the 2019 season but has impressed since joining Haas in 2023.

He currently sits 13th in the drivers’ championship standings – an improvement on last year’s placing of 16th – and has made the top 10 in three of the first five races of 2024.

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On Friday, Haas confirmed Hulkenberg will leave the team at the end of this season, and Sauber subsequently announced he had signed a “multi-year” contract with them.

That means the 36-year-old German – who has also driven for Williams, Force India and Aston Martin – will line up for Audi in their inaugural season when they take over Sauber for 2026.

Writing on X after his move was announced, Hulkenberg said: “I am thrilled and honoured to return to Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber in 2025 and to represent the global German car manufacturer and technology pioneer Audi on its way into Formula 1.

“It’s a big project with high ambitions and a huge challenge, a challenge that I am very much looking forward to.

“The conversations with Andreas Seidl and Oliver Hoffmann were very trustful, characterised by a lot of appreciation and mutual understanding regarding the common goals.

“At the same time, I would like to express a special thank you to the entire Haas F1 Team for placing their trust in me and making a comeback in F1 possible. I will do everything I can in the remaining 19 races to be as successful as possible.”

The signing of Hulkenberg means at least one of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu – Sauber’s current pairing – will be without a drive for next year.

Audi are reportedly keen to secure outgoing Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz alongside Hulkenberg for 2026, while the Scuderia’s junior driver Oliver Bearman has been linked with a move to Haas.

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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