Formula 1: Nico Hülkenberg drives his first laps in the Haas | Sports

One German goes, one comes!

Nico Hülkenberg (35) completed his first kilometers in the new company car during the obligatory test drives at the end of the season. He was able to test his new racing car in Abu Dhabi. Before the final race, Haas announced that Hülkenberg would replace Mick Schumacher (23) from the coming season.

Hülkenberg was allowed to practice for this. In 2023 he will then drive the US team’s car for 24 races.

The well-known 27: Hulkenberg’s number can already be seen on the car

Photo: Carl Bingham/LAT Images

But the new beginning of Hülkenberg is also the (at least temporary) end of Mick’s Formula 1 time. Does that make him feel bad?

Hulkenberg: “No. That’s how Formula 1 is. We are all fighting for our own careers. There are many drivers who had to make way for another driver during their time in Formula 1.”

Good for the returnee: He can quickly adapt to a new car. Although he lost his job as a regular driver in 2019, he made four appearances as a replacement driver for Racing Point and later Aston Martin.

And he cut a really good figure there! In 2022 he replaced Sebastian Vettel (35), who was suffering from Corona, in the first two races of the season. Although Hülkenberg had hardly any preparation time in the new generation of racing cars (there were numerous groundbreaking rule changes for the 2022 season), he ended up in Bahrain in qualifying ahead of teammate Lance Stroll (22).

Despite the two appearances, Hülkenberg had to watch 20 of 22 races this year. He admits: “Just watching from the sidelines was hard. So I started the ‘Project Return’.”

Hulkenberg's helmet is still neutral white.  Including sponsor logo

Hulkenberg’s helmet is still neutral white. Including sponsor logo

Photo: Getty Images

Now the comeback as a regular driver. In any case, the Monegasque by choice doesn’t have much time to get used to it…

Hülkenberg: “Now it is important to focus fully on Formula 1 and on these Haas cars. I have to understand him fully, we only have three days of testing before the first race next year. That is not much.”

During the test drives in Abu Dhabi, Hülkenberg did 110 laps in the car and set the 19th best time of 24 drivers with a time of 1:27,000.

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