Nico Hulkenberg

F1 News: Hulkenberg becomes a driver for the Audi factory team

The course for Audi’s Formula 1 project continues to be set. The first driver has now been confirmed: Nico Hulkenberg has signed a multi-year contract with Sauber and will start for the Audi factory team in 2026.

He will be driving for Sauber as early as 2025 and accompany the transformation to the factory team, as the Swiss company announced today.

Related ArticleFormula 1 News: Hulkenberg’s best hope is a move to Audi

The most incredible career renaissance. From sidelines to stand-in to signing for one of the biggest auto manufacturers in the world as they join Formula 1. It’s a brilliant story.

With his experience of more than 200 F1 races, the German will make an important contribution to the development phase of Audi’s future team: “The signing of Nico is the next milestone for Audi’s Formula 1 project.

With his speed, his experience and his dedicated teamwork, he will make an important contribution to Audi’s entry in 2026 as early as next year,” says Andreas Seidl, CEO of the future Audi F1 factory team.

Nico Hülkenberg & Andreas Seidl have already successfully worked together when Hülkenberg won the 24h Le Mans race for Porsche in 2015 (with Earl Bamber & Nick Tandy).

“Right from the start, there was great mutual interest in tackling a project of this uniqueness together. Nico is a strong personality, his determination and desire on a professional and personal level will help us to make progress both in the development of the car and in building up the team.”

Nico Hulkenberg says: “The prospect of competing for Audi is something very special. When a German manufacturer enters Formula 1 with such determination, it’s a unique opportunity. To represent the factory team of such a car brand with a power unit made in Germany is a great honor for me.”

The appointment of Nico Hulkenberg follows the plan announced in March to take over Sauber completely and the appointment of Oliver Hoffmann as General Representative of the Board of Management of Audi for the Formula 1 commitment. In this role, Hoffmann also chairs the boards of directors of all Sauber companies and the shareholders’ meeting of Audi Formula Racing GmbH, which is responsible for the development of the power unit at the Neuburg site.

Haas Statement

Ayao Komatsu: “I’d like to extend my thanks to Nico for his contributions to the team. There’s lots more racing to go this year so we look forward to continuing to benefit from his inputs throughout the remainder of the 2024 season.”

Updated 2025 Silly Season Table

Last Updated April 26, 2024

2025 F1 Silly Season Page
Team Engine No. Driver Nat. Rating Comments
Audi Sauber Ferrari 27 Nico Hulkenberg Germany Fact Signed thru 2027
77 Valtteri Bottas Finland Speculation Waiting to be replaced
Alpine F1 Team Renault 31 Esteban Ocon France Strong Expected back
61 Jack Doohan Australia Speculation Waiting in the wings
Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes 14 Fernando Alonso Spain Fact Signed thru 2026
18 Lance Stroll Canada Fact Daddy owns the team
Ferrari Ferrari 16 Charles Leclerc Monaco Fact Signed thru 2028
44 Lewis Hamilton England Fact Signed thru 2026
Moneygram Haas F1 Team Ferrari 10 Pierre Gasly France Speculation Could replace Kevin Magnussen
38 Oliver Bearman England Strong Expected to replace Hulkenberg
McLaren F1 Team Mercedes 4 Lando Norris England Fact Signed
81 Oscar Piastri Australia Fact Signed
Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes 55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Spain Strong Will replace Hamilton
63 George Russell England Fact Signed thru 2025
Red Bull Racing Honda 1 Max Verstappen Netherlands Fact Signed thru 2028
11 Sergio Perez Mexico Strong Expected back given recent performance
Visa Cash App RB Honda 22 Yuki Tsunoda Japan Strong Expected back
40 Liam Lawson Australia Strong Expected to replace struggling Ricciardo
Williams Racing Mercedes 23 Alex Albon Thailand Fact Signed
TBD Kimi Antonelli Italy Strong Expected to Replace Sargeant



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