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Hülkenberg Optimistic About Haas F1 in Shanghai

Hülkenberg Optimistic About Haas F1 in Shanghai

18/04/2024

Nico Hülkenberg expresses optimism for Haas F1’s performance in Shanghai amid ongoing discussions about his future and the F1 driver market.

Nico Hülkenberg hopes to again pick up points with Haas F1 this weekend in China, where no race has taken place in recent years.

Hülkenberg is one of the most experienced Formula 1 drivers on the Shanghai circuit. Yet, the German is also still involved in the hectic transfer season.

Alonso’s decision to extend his contract at this stage of the season is likely to speed up seat allocations for 2025?

“Not necessarily,” he replies, while most sources suggest he already has an agreement with Audi F1 for 2026.

“It’s always difficult to forecast this and predict what will happen. For some, it might evolve quite quickly, for others, maybe not. But it’s definitely a very interesting situation right now.”

“The driver market is very dynamic and fluid, and I’m sure all the drivers without contracts for 2025 are very busy right now, having a lot of conversations, checking options, and trying to prepare for the future. I’ve done the same.”

He speaks in the past tense. Has he signed somewhere?

“I don’t know,” he says with a smile.

On the sporting side immediately concerning the German driver, Haas F1 has gone to China with several upgrades for the car.

“There are a few little things that look good on paper and in theory, but as always, you need to verify them on the track and make sure the correlation is good. But yes, it’s better to have an upgrade this early in the season, even if they are small parts, in the tight battle of the midfield than not to have them.”

He thinks the VF-24 should be able to perform a bit better this weekend than in Japan fifteen days ago.

“It really should, and I hope it does. I think there’s a lot more low-speed cornering here, which is where the car feels more comfortable. I’ve always had good memories here. I’ve raced here nine times and I really like the layout of the circuit.”

“Having this experience will be an advantage because with the Sprint, fewer practice sessions obviously present more opportunities, maybe more chances, but we need to make sure we do things right ourselves. Obviously, everyone is in the same situation, but I feel quite good for this weekend with only one hour of Free Practice.”

The evolution is “encouraging” for Magnussen

His teammate, Kevin Magnussen, is thrilled to be back in China for the first time in five years. At that time, he was already driving a Haas, but it was in the colors of Rich Energy and he was teamed with Romain Grosjean.

“It’s funny, I haven’t been here in a long time, and it feels like it was even longer ago,” said Magnussen. “But it’s good to be back, I hope we can be strong here.”

The Dane appreciates that the VF-24 is already evolving: “It’s encouraging that we are bringing an evolution. It’s not a revolution, it’s not huge, but it’s early in the season and it’s encouraging that we are bringing an evolution this early.”

“We’ll have to see if it delivers the expected results, but the expectations are not that it brings colossal gains. But we hope that we can bring more evolutions of this kind that will be large in accumulating this season, the fight for sixth place will be tight this year, so every bit counts.”

Magnussen is pleased that Haas has changed its policy and is no longer betting on a single big evolution for the entire season but is trying to have a real program of new features throughout the year.

“I think it’s a sensible approach, not to attempt a single grand evolution but to take several small things, which also gives the chance to change the course of things if evolutions do not work, rather than putting all our eggs in one basket.”

He hopes to be close to the points this weekend but is wary of RB F1: “The field is split in two, but I like to think that we could be at the front of our half of the grid, and play for the position of the sixth-best team, that’s our game, our goal, but it’s not easy, AlphaTauri is very competitive right now and we hope we can compete.”

Hülkenberg Optimistic About Haas F1 in Shanghai

Hülkenberg Optimistic About Haas F1 in Shanghai. Hülkenberg Optimistic About Haas F1 in Shanghai

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