Nico Hulkenberg will return to Formula 1 in 2023 after being named by Haas as its replacement for Mick Schumacher.
The 35-year-old lost his Renault drive at the end of the 2019 season but has since made a number of substitute appearances in his role as reserve driver for Aston Martin – including under its previous guise of Racing Point in 2020 – and will add to his 181 race starts with Haas. Hulkenberg holds the record for the most F1 starts without a podium, but has scored 521 points in his career and says he is motivated to fight in the midfield to try and boost Haas’ scoring options.
“I’m very happy to move into a full-time race seat with Haas F1 Team in 2023,” Hulkenberg said. “I feel like I never really left Formula 1. I’m excited to have the opportunity to do what I love the most again and want to thank Gene Haas and Guenther Steiner for their trust. We have work ahead of us to be able to compete with all the other teams in the midfield, and I cannot wait to join that battle again.”
Hulkenberg, who won the GP2 title in 2009, replaces 2020 Formula 2 champion Schumacher, with his fellow German having scored 12 points to Kevin Magnussen’s 25 so far this season and leaving Haas after two years. Team principal Guenther Steiner says experience and a proven quantity is what attracted him to Hulkenberg, who had been pushing hard for an opportunity to return to the grid.
“I’m naturally very pleased to be welcoming Nico Hulkenberg back to a full-time racing role in Formula 1,” Steiner said. “The experience and knowledge base Nico brings to the team is clear to see, with nearly 200 career starts in Formula 1 and a reputation as being a great qualifier and a solid, reliable racer.
“These are attributes, which when you pair them together with Kevin Magnussen’s experience, gives us a very credible and well-seasoned driver line-up which we believe will help push the team onwards up the grid. That’s obviously the goal and it was that ambition that has prompted Nico’s return to Formula 1 – he shares our vision and can be a key player together with the rest of the team in building on the foundations we’ve laid this year with our return to the points battle.”
Hulkenberg will make his Haas debut during the post-race test in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, driving one of the team’s two cars alongside Pietro Fittipaldi.