Now it is clear: Formula 1 driver Nico Hülkenberg will not drive for Haas next season. Will the 32-year-old change to Alfa Romeo?
Surprisingly, Haas-Ferrari announced it would extend its contract with Romain Grosjean. This has consequences especially for Nico Hulkenberg (32): For now the German must target the Alfa Romeo cockpit alongside Kimi Raikkonen, otherwise, he is out of the F1.
The Hulk, however, seems still confident about his future in F1:
“Nothing has been decided yet, there is nothing concrete, but if I want, I can get a racing seat and I’ll be there too,” he told German TV RTL. And further: “There are definitely interests and options that we are currently working on, of course.”
AutoBild and F1 Insider learned: In the negotiations with Haas, the overall package for Hulkenberg just didn’t fit. That’s why a deal was impossible. And the still Renault driver also knows, that at Alfa, Antonio Giovinazzi’s place is not secure.
Team principal Frederic Vasseur is open for new drivers. Among many options, he was interested in hiring his compatriot Grosjean. Although Marcus Ericsson is also an option for the former Sauber team based in Switzerland. Ericsson, who is Swedish, has been given good chances because of the team’s Swedish owners.
But also Hülkenberg is highly appreciated and respected within the Swiss team. Reminder: Team Principal Vasseur was already working with Hülkenberg within GP2 as team leader at ART. Together they won the title in 2009 in the junior class. It was also Vasseur, who supported Hulkenberg in driving for Renault in 2017.
And don’t underestimate: Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder is a big fan of the Hulk. They both worked together when Hülkenberg drove for them in 2013 and impressed everyone.
And What Does the Hulk Say?
“I do not have to stay in Formula 1 at any cost. It’s a matter of feeling, it just has to fit. I could imagine, just doing nothing for some time.”
Really? Anyway, he explained why the deal with Haas didn’t come to fruition:
“We didn’t get together. People talk, but sometimes it just doesn’t fit. I knew what would be announced. I did not pursue the case with Haas any further. It was not the money.”
Hopefully, the Hulk, hasn’t overplayed his hand with Haas. Because a change to Alfa is anything but carved in stone.
Hülki: “It certainly doesn’t hurt that there is a team boss with Frederic Vasseur, who brought me to Renault. But I also know how the structures are there. There, others make the decisions.”
He referred to Ferrari and the Swedish owners … Some support the current regular driver Antonio Giovinazzi, the others Marcus Ericsson.
In 14 days we should know more …
*This article was first published in German at autobild.de/motorsport.