Home Australia Nico’s ‘career rebirth’ continues as Audi makes first big move into F1

Nico’s ‘career rebirth’ continues as Audi makes first big move into F1

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Nico's 'career rebirth' continues as Audi makes first big move into F1

German Formula 1 driver Nico Hülkenberg will move to Sauber at the end of the season, becoming the first driver announced for the team to move to Audi F1 in 2026.

The 36-year-old’s departure from American team Haas to Swiss-based Sauber was announced on Friday afternoon AEST.

Hülkenberg, a veteran of more than 200 grands prix, has long been touted as the man German manufacturer Audi wanted to enter F1 with in 2026.

Sauber will hand over the reins of the team to Audi at the end of the 2025 season.

“The prospect of competing with Audi is something very special,” Hülkenberg said in a statement.

“When a German manufacturer enters Formula 1 with such determination, it is a unique opportunity.

“It is a great honor for me to represent the Factor team of a car brand with an engine made in Germany.”

Hülkenberg’s F1 career appeared to be over at the end of the 2019 season when he was not offered a contract with Renault.

He replaced Racing Point (now Aston Martin) three times during the 2020 season and then became the team’s reserve driver.

He returned to the grid full-time with Haas in 2023.

F1 broadcaster and journalist Will Buxton described the German’s return from obscurity as “a brilliant story”.

“The most incredible professional rebirth. From the bench to the substitute and signing for one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world when he joins Formula 1,” he wrote on social media.

With Hülkenberg confirmed for 2025, it means that one of the team’s current drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, will certainly not be with the team next season.

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