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Nico Hulkenberg

Breaking: Hulkenberg to depart Haas and join Audi F1

One half of Audi F1's driver line-up has been confirmed with Nico Hulkenberg signing a contract with the German outfit ahead of its 2026 arrival.

Nico Hulkenberg will depart Haas at the end of the current Formula 1 season and join Stake for 2025.

Hulkenberg has penned a multi-year deal with the programme and will form one-half of Audi's F1 line-up when it joins the grid in 2026.

Audi will take over the Sauber-run F1 squad that currently operates under the Stake moniker in two years' time.

Hulkenberg's arrival at the squad will see either Valtteri Bottas or Zhou Guanyu make way at the end of the ongoing campaign.

“I’m returning to the team I worked with back in 2013 and have fond memories of the strong team spirit in Switzerland,” said Hulkenberg. “The prospect of competing for Audi is something very special.

“When a German manufacturer enters Formula 1 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 made his F1 debut in 2010 and had stints with Force India and Sauber before joining the Renault works team in 2017.

The German was dropped at the end of 2019 and spent three years as a reserve driver for Aston Martin.

Haas opted to sign Hulkenberg last year to replace Mick Schumacher and impressed with his performances, scoring nine of the American squad's 12 points.

“We are very pleased to welcome Nico back here in Hinwil from 2025 and to compete with him in Formula One. With his speed, his experience and his commitment to teamwork, he will be an important part of the transformation of our team – and of Audi’s F1 project,” said Audi F1 CEO Andreas Seidl.

“Right from the start, there was great mutual interest in building something long-term together. Nico is a strong personality, and his input, on a professional and personal level, will help us to make progress both in the development of the car and in building up the team.”

Hulkenberg's team-mate for the 2025 F1 season will be confirmed in due course.

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