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Nico Hulkenberg

Hulkenberg reveals 'driving factor' behind Audi F1 decision

Nico Hulkenberg has penned a multi-year extension with the Audi Formula 1 team and will depart Haas at the end of the current season.

Hulkenberg Miami
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Nico Hulkenberg has revealed Audi F1 CEO Andreas Seidl was the “driving factor” behind his decision to join the German manufacturer's project.

Audi confirmed last week that Hulkenberg had penned a multi-year deal and will join the Stake F1 squad in 2025 before Audi completes its takeover the following year.

Hulkenberg is the first driver to be signed to the squad. Outgoing Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz is among those linked to the second seat.

Seidl, who formerly held the team principal role at McLaren, was appointed to the Audi F1 CEO role earlier this year.

When asked if his German compatriot was a factor in his decision to join, Hulkenberg told media including RacingNews365: “Yeah [and] he's also the driving factor there.

“One of the deciders, one of the top key people in the management at Audi. So, of course, it came through him. And he's a very direct and straightforward guy with me.”

Hulkenberg reveals 2020 phone call

Hulkenberg has worked with Seidl before as he was previously the team principal of the Porsche LMP1 squad, with the 36-year-old winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 under his guidance.

Hulkenberg also revealed he called Seidl after being dropped by Renault at the end of 2019 to see if there was any availability at McLaren.

“I remember 2020 when it was COVID before the season started, and I was not sure what I wanted to do,” recalled Hulkenberg.

“But I remember phoning him up and seeing - he was at McLaren at the time. I was like, 'Andy, how is it looking? Is there maybe a chance for me?' And he was like, straight, 'No, don't even get your hopes up. It's not going to happen'.

“And you know, this time around, years later, it was very different. He was very keen to sign and to have me.”

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