“They value my experience and my feeling for set-up in the car” — Hülkenberg opens up on Audi F1 move

Photo Credit: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
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Recently confirming his move to a new team powered by Audi, Hülkenberg shared his thoughts on this significant career shift and what it entails for his future.

“It just happened, I don’t know how it actually happened,” Hülkenberg mused, reflecting on the fluid dynamics of the driver market that facilitated his new opportunity.

His engagement with the team began last year, laying the groundwork for a more substantial commitment.

“They were quite keen, and I think, you know, matched interest for the future,” he added, acknowledging the mutual excitement about the potential of their collaboration.

Joining the team not only offers Hülkenberg a new professional challenge but also marks a crucial phase of integration.

“It’s a year of, yeah, maybe it buys us some time, getting to know each other,” he said, stressing the importance of familiarising himself within the team and its infrastructure.

“Still going to be a Ferrari power unit, so that’s not going to be foreign to me, but obviously, yeah, to get to know the team, the infrastructure there and, you know, already try to help and steer certain things, obviously, but that’s then. Now, obviously, I’m still pretty much in this season and focused on what’s ahead.”

The upcoming season is not just about adaptation for Hülkenberg; it’s about contribution. “Now, obviously, I’m still pretty much in this season and focused on what’s ahead,” he affirmed.

Discussing the broader implications of racing for a manufacturer team, particularly one that aims to evolve into a full factory operation, Hülkenberg sees a blend of opportunity and responsibility.

“It’s not that I was specifically looking for that,” he noted regarding the German connection through Audi and team principal Andreas Seidl. The pair had worked previously at Porsche when Hülkenberg won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2015.

“I think, as a driver, you just always look for the, you know, what you believe is the best sporting package and opportunity for you in the future and I think, for me, that that’s the one.”

Reflecting on his journey since temporarily stepping back from full-time racing at the end of 2019, Hülkenberg expressed a deep sense of fulfilment.

“To be honest, I think happiness,” he revealed when asked about his emotions following his F1 return and securing a long-term contract. “It’s a reward to the good work, you know, that I and my team have put in.”

As he prepares for this new role, Hülkenberg is aware of the expectations placed on him—not just to perform, but to bring his depth of experience to bear on the team’s strategic ambitions.

“They value my experience, probably my judgment, my feeling for set-up in the car, for pushing the team on development,” he elaborated.

With Audi taking over full ownership earlier than planned, Hülkenberg views this as a positive step, indicative of the team’s commitment to success. “I mean, these are technicalities. Now, at the end, it was what it was,” he commented on the accelerated timeline.

“I think it was their strategic decision. They felt that’s what they need to move forward and to succeed in this project.”