Steiner: Hülkenberg and Magnussen have “very good relationship”

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Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

A few months into Nico Hülkenberg’s full time Formula One return and it seems like he is settling in well at his new team. The German driver has outscored his teammate Kevin Magnussen as well as coming out on top thus far in qualifying. But what of the relationship between the two Haas drivers?

Given that his arrival to the team had many feeling like it could be a tense relationship given the now infamous “suck my b***s” comment after the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix, when Hülkenberg interrupted Magnussen mid interview to say he was “once again the most unsporting driver on the grid” after a fiery battle during the closing stages of the race.

Team principal Guenther Steiner was questioned on just this subject on the Friday of the Australian Grand Prix weekend. Here’s what he had to say on how new arrival Hülkenberg is getting on with Haas veteran Magnussen:

“Nico (Hülkenberg) is settling in very, very well. I mean, he’s a professional, he has done this before, settled into a new team. That was one of the reasons we took him. He’s getting on good with Kevin. I think it’s a very good relationship, professional, you know. They are both now mature racers. They know what we expect from them. And they both deliver and they try to work together to bring the team forward. And that is all that we wanted. So at a moment, I have no complaints on that side and hopefully it stays like this.”

Indeed, the 35-year-old German driver is no stranger to having to adapt to new surroundings, as his tenure at Haas is the fifth team he will have raced for, and that’s excluding his super sub role at Aston Martin and Racing Point, stepping into the cockpit of the Racing Point car no less than three times in 2020 during the COVID-19 outbreak and subbing in twice for Sebastian Vettel in early 2022 with Aston Martin, though one could argue he had already driven for Racing Point in its Force India guise. Still, one of the elder statesman on the F1 grid has taken to his new seat with gusto and had things gone perhaps just a little bit different last time out in Albert Park could have found himself on that ever so elusive podium.

Steiner was also questioned on if he felt the two drivers brought different strengths to the table, but was reluctant to split them thus far:

“That’s difficult to say, maybe a little bit too early for me. I mean, we have done one test and two races with them. But I think they have got very similar strengths. They’re just experienced, and they’ve done this before. And obviously Kevin (Magnussen) has got a little bit the advantage that he has been with the team now a few years, while Nico is new. But as I said, Nico is adapting very quickly, because even if the team is new, he has been in new teams before. So he knows what is expected. He knows some of the people that work with us from teams before. So at the moment, it’s going very smooth.”