Nico Hulkenberg will make a return to Formula 1 from 2023 with the Haas team as he replaces Mick Schumacher. The German who is 35 now, left F1 at the end of 2019 but subsequently made five substitute appearances for Racing Point and now Aston Martin, most recently standing in for Sebastian Vettel for the first two races of this year owing to Vettel’s illness. He has amassed 181 Grand Prix starts – driving for teams like Williams, Force India, Sauber, Renault, Racing Point and Aston Martin and has been a reserve driver for Aston Martin for the past 2 years. The German continues to be a fan-favourite driver with skills to match who was considered as the best driver to have never been on podium on his exit in 2019. But, that could change as this is Formula 1.
Hulkenberg’s highest career finish has been P4 and he has amassed a total of 521 points along with a pole position at the 2010 Brazilian GP during his rookie season. Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner said, “I’m naturally very pleased to be welcoming Nico Hulkenberg back to a full-time racing role in Formula 1. The experience and knowledge base Nico brings to the team is clear to see – with nearly 200 career starts in Formula 1 – and a reputation as being a great qualifier and a solid, reliable racer. These are attributes, which when you pair them together with Kevin Magnussen’s experience, gives us a very credible and well-seasoned driver line-up which we believe will help push the team onwards up the grid. That’s obviously the goal and it was that ambition that has prompted Nico’s return to Formula 1 – he shares our vision and can be a key player, together with the rest of the team, in building on the foundations we’ve laid this year with our return to the points battle.”
Meanwhile, Nico Hulkenberg added, “I’m very happy to move into a full-time race seat with Haas F1 Team in 2023. I feel like I never really left Formula 1. I’m excited to have the opportunity to do what I love the most again and want to thank Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for their trust. We have work ahead of us to be able to compete with all the other teams in the midfield, and I cannot wait to join that battle again.”
Hulkenberg will start testing on Tuesday after the final Abu Dhabi GP of 2022 and will be driving the 2022 car as part of Pirelli’s tests. Meanwhile, reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will be fulfilling young driver duties in a second car.