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Nico Hulkenberg

Hulkenberg reveals when Haas conversations intensified

Nico Hulkenberg has described how his return to a full-time Formula 1 came to be, with the German confirmed as a Haas driver for 2023.

Hulkenberg
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To news overview © Michael Potts / RacingNews365

Nico Hulkenberg has revealed when he contacted Haas to drive for the team in Formula 1 for 2023.

The German, who has been out of a full-time drive since 2019, has been in a reserve role with Aston Martin for the last two years.

He will now replace Mick Schumacher after the team opted to go for a more experienced driver line-up for next season, with Hulkenberg revealing when he first contacted the Haas Team Principal.

"I called Guenther [Steiner] in summertime," said Hulkenberg to media, including RacingNews365.com.

"The hunger to race, the fire to be in F1, the pinnacle of motorsport. It's a pretty cool environment and what I what I love doing, and probably what I'm best at."

Following his departure from Renault, Hulkenberg still had race outings with Racing Point and latterly Aston Martin after Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel contracted Covid.

Even after leaving F1 briefly, he says that he never gave up on trying to get a seat for the future.

He explained: "I didn't give up, but I have to say in 2019 when I was out, I was happy that I had some distance and some breather from it.

"2021 nothing much happened and even earlier at the beginning of this year, I wasn't stressing thinking about it too much.

"But then coming towards summer it somehow grew in me again. When I came visited races and the saw reaction, the excitement, the desire to come back. Then the discussions started.

Hulkenberg: All roads led to Haas

Hulkenberg was then asked if any conversations had taken place with other teams prior securing the Haas drive.

"There were other discussions too, but I think all roads more or less lead to here," he responded.

Hulkenberg said that he wasn't really sure that he would be returning until he signed the contract with Haas, but is now looking forward to testing with the team and getting ready for 2023.

"You never know until you really know, until it's signed," said Hulkenberg.

"I think the last month it got more and more concrete and serious, and it was getting more optimistic and confident that we can agree a deal.

"Most important thing is to get my head around F1 and especially this Haas car to understand it, it's a bit of a head start for next year. Three days preseason testing is not a lot before the first event.

"It's just for me a little teaser, to get a feel for this car and how the system works, driver fitness stuff, a lot of basics that you can already clear and get out of the way.

"Obviously [I can] have a look at the car, see where the performance is, what is good, where we need to focus on, all these kinds of things."

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