Hulkenberg: Decision [to join Sauber] wasn't a no-brainer

Hulkenberg: Decision [to join Sauber] wasn’t a no-brainer

Hulkenberg: Decision [to join Sauber] wasn't a no-brainer

Nico Hulkenberg revealed his decision to join Sauber (aka Stake F1 Team) for the 2025 Formula 1 season in preparation for Audi’s 2026 arrival was not an easy one to make.

This is the first time Hulkenberg becomes associated with a works F1 team over the course of his career, which should be a step-up for him from his current team, Haas.

Nevertheless, the German F1 driver insisted it was not an easy decision to make, revealing that Haas Team Principal Ayao Komatsu tried all he could to retain him.

Komatsu took over Guenther Steiner’s position at Haas ahead of the 2024 F1 season, and Hulkenberg was impressed with the Japanese engineer’s approach.

Commenting on Komatsu sudden promotion, Hulkenberg told Motorsport.com: “He’s doing well. He was really thrown in at the deep end as the new team boss at the beginning of the year. Out of nowhere.

“In February, he had a driver’s contract in his hands for the first time in his life. That’s also special, and there are a few things you have to know and see first.

“Up until the announcement, it was great working with him. Also in terms of coordination. I spoke to him openly about it a few weeks ago, that there was a good dynamic and that a decision would probably be made sooner rather than later.

Komatsu fought to keep Hulkenberg

“He fought, he gave everything,” Hulkenberg added. “The decision wasn’t a no-brainer for me. I’ve already given it some thought.

“Haas is the team that made my comeback possible. But at the end of the day, the better sporting prospect for me personally is simply with Audi,” he maintained.

However, Haas will not treat their departing driver differently in terms of car upgrades going forward in 2024. He has after all scored most of their points so far while teammate Kevin Magnussen scored just one.

“I don’t think so. I think it will continue to be fair and good,” was Hulkenberg’s response when asked whether Magnussen will have priority in terms of the future car upgrades.

“The team and I both have a vested interest in finishing the season as well and successfully as possible,” he insisted. “We want to try and beat all the other midfield teams, and I don’t think that’s entirely unrealistic given the way things look today.

“We will continue to work as a team in the right direction,” the 36-year-old veteran F1 driver concluded.