Nico Hulkenberg Lands Full-Time Seat in Formula 1 with Haas in 2023

Nico Hulkenberg Lands Full-Time Seat in Formula 1 with Haas in 2023
Nico Hülkenberg. Photo Courtesy: Haas F1 Team Media.

Nico Hulkenberg will return to Formula One next season, replacing Mick Schumacher at Haas F1 Team, the American squad confirmed on Thursday.

German driver Nico Hulkenberg will contest the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, featuring a record-breaking 24 Grand Prix, making his full-time return to the series, pairing Dane Kevin Magnussen at Haas F1 Team.

Following the official announcement, the driver commented: “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 Gunther 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.

The 35-year-old left Formula One at the end of the 2019 season with 184 Grand Prix starts under his name, following Renault F1 decision to sign Frenchman Esteban Ocon instead.

In 2020, a season disrupted by the Covid-19 outbreak, the man who has summed up 521 points since his debut in the series (2010) made three appearances throughout the year with former team Racing Point.

Moreover, during the past two seasons, he has acted as a reserve and development driver for the British outfit, renamed Aston Martin F1 Team.

The partnership saw him back on track at the opening round of the 2022 season in Bahrain and again at the Saudi Arabian GP, standing in for Sebastian Vettel, who tested positive for Covid-19.

Haas driver line-up ahead of 2023 relies on experience behind the wheel with Magnussen, 30, who last week claimed the first pole position in the series for the team at the Sao Paulo GP Sprint, and Hulkenberg, a poleman himself in Brazil as well, with Williams back in 2010.

In that regard, Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team, outlined: “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.

Adding: “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.”

The Danish driver, who, as the German, found himself without a permanent race seat by the end of 2020, rejoined the team powered by Ferrari in 2022 after signing a multi-year deal, thus far scoring 25 points.

For his part, the 24 Hours of Le Mans race winner with Porsche (2015) will begin to write the next chapter of his career at the pinnacle of motorsport next week.

On Tuesday, he will take part in the Pirelli post-season test at the wheel of the Haas VF-22.

Meanwhile, the squad’s reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi will drive on Wednesday at the ‘Young Drivers Test’, both held in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Haas F1 is in contention to finish 8th in the constructor’s championship, battling AlphaTauri. The difference between them stands at 37 to 35 points, respectively, with just one race to go, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, staged this weekend.

Furthermore, Steiner talked about Mick Schumacher’s departure, stressing:”I would like to thank Mick Schumacher for his contribution to the team over the past couple of years.

Mick’s pedigree in the junior categories was well known and he has continued to grow and develop as a driver in his time with Haas F1 Team, culminating in his first Formula 1 points-scoring successes earlier this season.

Adding: “While choosing to go in separate directions for the future, the entire team wishes Mick well for the next steps in his career path and beyond

The 23-year-old also shared his thoughts on the team’s decision to let him go after two years together.

I don’t want to hide the fact that I am very disappointed about the decision not to renew our contract. Nevertheless, I would like to thank both Haas and Ferrari for giving me this opportunity.”

The son of a seven-time champion Michael Schumacher added: “Those years together have helped me mature, both technically and personally. And especially when things got difficult, I realized how much I love this sport.

It was at times bumpy, but I steadily improved, learned a lot, and now know, for sure, that I deserve a place in Formula 1. The subject is anything but closed for me. Setbacks only make you stronger.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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