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Audi Pressures Haas F1 Over Hülkenberg's Future

Audi Pressures Haas F1 Over Hülkenberg’s Future

21/04/2024

Haas F1 faces a tough challenge as Audi intensifies efforts to recruit Nico Hülkenberg, putting pressure on the team to secure his services amid intense market competition.

Haas F1 appears to be on the verge of losing Nico Hulkenberg at the end of the season.

Last year, Gunther Steiner, now ousted from the team, brought the 36-year-old driver out of retirement to replace Mick Schumacher—and he quickly shone.

This poses a challenge for Kevin Magnussen, a long-time Haas driver, as the new boss Ayao Komatsu stated this week that a contract extension for the 31-year-old Dane is not yet a certainty for 2025.

However, there is no doubt that Haas F1 would like to keep Hulkenberg, but it will be difficult for the German to say no to a potential future top team.

“There is a team that is really putting pressure on the driver market right now,” Komatsu admitted in Shanghai.

“It’s up to us to convince Nico to stay; he sees the progress we are making and what we can do in the short and medium term.”

That team is Sauber, now fully owned by Audi, which has also offered Carlos Sainz a lucrative three-year deal for 2025, 2026, and 2027.

The team representative, Alessandro Alunni Bravi, did not deny it.

“There are 14 drivers without contracts for next year. So we are discussing with different drivers.”

“Let me just say that we are happy to play a different role in the driver market in the future thanks to Audi’s announcement and all the investments that will be made to improve our team.”

“Finally, we are attractive and we are not spectators; we are a player in the market.”

Sauber’s current drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou, are also forced to enter the driver market since they are clearly no longer the favorites to retain their seats.

2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg thinks Hülkenberg would be the perfect choice.

“I would definitely recommend him at Audi at this stage. He is a very, very good candidate for one of the cockpits, with lots of experience. He would fit very well.”

Audi Pressures Haas F1 Over Hülkenberg's Future

Audi Pressures Haas F1 Over Hülkenberg’s Future. Audi Pressures Haas F1 Over Hülkenberg’s Future

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