Hulkenberg to join Sauber from Haas in 2025

Nico Hulkenberg joined Haas in 2023
Nico Hulkenberg joined Haas in 2023 [Getty Images]

Nico Hulkenberg will join the Sauber team for the 2025 season before their transformation into the factory Audi team in 2026.

The 36-year-old German is the first driver to sign for Audi as they build up to their debut season in Formula 1. Their other prime target is Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

Andreas Seidl, chief executive officer of Sauber and the Audi F1 project, said: “With his speed, experience and commitment to teamwork, Nico will be an important part of the transformation of our team.”

Hulkenberg, who previously worked with Seidl when he won Le Mans for Porsche in 2015, said: “The prospect of competing for Audi is something very special.

“When a German manufacturer enters F1 with such determination, it is a unique opportunity. To represent the factory team of such a car brand with a power unit made in Germany is a great honour for me.”

Hulkenberg's decision leaves a vacancy at the United States-based Haas team, where he currently drives alongside Dane Kevin Magnussen.

A leading candidate for that seat in 2025 is Briton Oliver Bearman, who races in Formula 2 and impressed at this year’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix when he substituted for Sainz, who was undergoing an operation for appendicitis.

Bearman is a member of the Ferrari driver academy and the Italian team, who have close links with Haas, are keen for him to move up into F1 next season.

Hulkenberg made his debut in F1 in 2010 and has raced for the Williams, Force India, Sauber and Renault teams.

He was dropped by Renault at the end of 2019 and did a handful of substitute appearances from 2020-22 for the Racing Point/Aston Martin team before returning to F1 full-time with Haas for 2023.