Nico Hulkenberg Biography
Born: 10/08/1987 Emmerich am Rhein, Germany
Nico Hulkenberg returned to the 2023 Formula 1 grid with the Haas F1 Team for his first full season in the sport since 2019.
One of the more ubiquitous drivers on the F1 grid, even with the three-season hiatus from the sport, Hulkenberg is one of the most experienced too, having made his debut way back in 2010.
Spotted from a young age by Willi Weber – who scouted and went on to manage Michael Schumacher – Hulkenberg announced himself to the motorsport world in an unconventional way with a dominant showing in the short lived A1GP World Cup of Motorsport series. Still only 19-years old, Hulkenberg nonetheless trounced more esteemed rivals with nine victories to earn Team Germany the 2016/17 title.
From here, Hulkenberg stepped into the F3 Euroseries for 2017, finishing third in his rookie season with ASM/ART before wrapping up a title victory the following season. Promoted to the GP2 Series for 2019, Hulkenberg surged to the title with ART Grand Prix to earn himself a Williams F1 seat.
In addition to his F1 exploits, Hulkenberg made headlines in 2015 by joining Porsche to drive a third 919 Hybrid LMP1 entry in the Le Mans 24 Hours. An unusual occurrence for drivers to enter the iconic race in the same year as competing in F1, Hulkenberg went on to take a sensational win alongside Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber.
2022 - Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team
22nd – 0 points [two races]
Returning to the grid for more replacement drives, Hulkenberg took part in the first two races of the 2022 season in place of Sebastian Vettel, who was waylaid with COVID. He came home in 17th and 12th in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia respectively, as Aston Martin struggled with the new era cars.
2020 - BWT Racing Point F1 Team
15th – 10 points [two races]
The obscure 2020 season provided the out-of-contract Hulkenberg three opportunities to get back behind the wheel of an F1 car – two at Silverstone for both the British Grand Prix and, one week later, the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix subbing for a COVID-stricken Sergio Perez, the other at the Eifel Grand Prix in place of the similarly COVID-affected Lance Stroll.
While he’d be unable to start the first event due to a power unit issue, Hulkenberg qualified a shock third and finish a respectable seventh for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, while he qualified last and worked his way up to eight at the Nurburgring.
2019 - Renault Sport F1 Team
14th - 37 points
Remaining on board for a third – and final – season with Renault, Hulkenberg faced his sternest challenge yet with the high-profile arrival of Daniel Ricciardo as team-mate. It proved a tough test for the German to be measured against, particularly as the Renault R.S.19, though competitive, had been pegged back into the busy midfield by rivals.
A tough first half of the year saw Hulkenberg fail to score in five of the opening six races, contributing to a lowly 14th in the overall standings by the summer break. It preceded the confirmation from Renault that he would be replaced by Esteban Ocon for the 2020 F1 season.
Despite the setback, Hulkenberg bounced back during the second half of the season with stronger results, including a fifth place at Monza. However, Hulkenberg failed to secure a new seat for the 2020 F1 season, instead returning to Force India to fill its test and reserve driver role.
2018 - Renault Sport F1 Team
7th - 69 points
Another step in performance from Renault saw Hulkenberg consolidate his regular point-scoring status, starting the 2018 F1 season well with two top six finishes in the opening three races.
The results set the tone for his campaign with four more top six results – including his strongest result in Renault colours with a fifth place at Hockenheim – spurring him on to a career-best seventh in the overall standings.
2017 - Renault Sport F1 Team
10th - 43 points
Hulkenberg landed his first factory F1 deal with his move to the Renault Sport F1 Team for the 2017 season.
Charged with hauling the French firm further up the grid following a difficult return to the sport in a works capacity the previous season, the German driver made the most of the more competitive R.S.17 package to mix in the midfield. Points in three of the opening five races, including a sixth place in Spain, helped Renault exceed its entire 2016 F1 points total rapidly.
In the season he surpassed the record for F1 starts without a podium, Hulkenberg came close in Singapore, running fourth – despite losing positions after a strategic blunder by the team – only to retire late on with technical issues.
2016 - Sahara Force India F1 Team
9th - 72 points
Sticking with Force India for the 2016 F1 season, Hulkenberg’s campaign bore a similarity to that of the previous year with initial difficulties during the early rounds giving way to a strong second half to the season.
After only scoring in one of the opening five races, thereafter Hulkenberg was comfortably inside the top ten in all but three of the remaining 16 grands prix.
His best result was a fourth-place finish at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
2015 - Sahara Force India F1 Team
10th - 58 points
After a fraught start to the year prevented Force India from introducing the VJM08 until the latter stages of pre-season testing, Hulkenberg struggled to pick up where he left off from 2014 during the early rounds.
However, the introduction of the heavily-upgraded VJM08B midway through the season spurred a turn of fortunes with six top ten results in the second half of the year.
2014 - Sahara Force India F1 Team
9th - 96 points
Returning to Force India for the start of the V6 hybrid turbo era, Hulkenberg capitalised on the team’s superior Mercedes-sourced power units to show strongly in early stages of the season.
Reaching the points in 15 of the 19 grands prix, they included seven top six results, peaking with fifth place finishes in Malaysia, Bahrain, Monaco and Canada.
2013 - Sauber F1 Team
10th - 51 points
Usurped from Force India, Hulkenberg switched to Sauber for the 2013 F1 season and again proved one of the top contenders in the busy midfield battle.
Scoring in more than half of the year’s races, Hulkenberg’s highlights included another career best-equalling fourth place in Korea and a run to fifth place at Monza having started on the second row of the grid.
2012 - Sahara Force India F1 Team
11th - 63 points
Joining Force India as its test and reserve driver in 2011 following his exit from Williams, Hulkenberg was promoted to a full race seat for the 2012 F1 season.
Though initially out-performed by team-mate Paul di Resta, Hulkenberg hit his stride as the season progressed, becoming a more regular point-scorer than the Scot come the mid-season.
After notching up a career-best fifth place on the streets of Monaco, Hulkenberg bettered that with a fourth-place finish in Belgium.
Brazil, however, set the scene for potentially the highest – and lowest – point in his career after a storming performance saw him pick his way to the front of the field from sixth on the grid to lead an F1 race for the first time.
However, after Lewis Hamilton overtook him on Lap 49, Hulkenberg’s attempt to reclaim the lead at Turn 1 six laps later instead resulted in the rear snapping out, collecting the Briton and putting the McLaren driver out of the race.
Though Hulkenberg recovered from his own spin, a drive-through penalty as punishment, that dropped him to fifth, lost him a likely maiden F1 podium result.
2010 - AT&T Williams
14th - 22 points
Hulkenberg made a strong impression in his first season, despite an initially steep learning curve during the early rounds. He turned heads by starting fifth for the Malaysian Grand Prix, though Hulkenberg’s race day rewards are limited to just a pair of tenth place results during the opening ten events.
However, fortunes took a turn for the better with a sixth-place finish in Hungary, his best result of the season and the trigger for a positive run to the end that saw the German crack the points in four of the final six events.
The highlight of the season, however, came in Brazil when Hulkenberg qualified on pole position at a rainy Interlagos. Despite this, Williams would choose Hulkenberg’s GP2 title-winning successor Pastor Maldonado over him for a 2011 F1 seat.
Hulkenberg: Haas weakness disguised by F1 rivals’ early struggles
Hulkenberg: Haas weakness disguised by F1 rivals’ early struggles Hulkenberg: Haas weakness disguised by F1 rivals’ early struggles
Hulkenberg: Lack of Haas F1 team progress “disappointing and upsetting”
Hulkenberg: Lack of Haas F1 team progress “disappointing and upsetting” Hulkenberg: Lack of Haas F1 team progress “disappointing and upsetting”
Haas retains Magnussen and Hulkenberg for 2024 F1 season
Haas retains Magnussen and Hulkenberg for 2024 F1 season Haas retains Magnussen and Hulkenberg for 2024 F1 season
Steiner impressed by Hulkenberg's F1 speed in readapting to full-time drive
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Hulkenberg: Holding F1's no-podium record actually speaks for my F1 skills
Hulkenberg: Holding F1's no-podium record actually speaks for my F1 skills Hulkenberg: Holding F1's no-podium record actually speaks for my F1 skills
Hulkenberg: No regrets over F1 comeback despite Haas race struggles
Hulkenberg: No regrets over F1 comeback despite Haas race struggles Hulkenberg: No regrets over F1 comeback despite Haas race struggles
The Verstappen trait Hulkenberg aimed to replicate during his F1 wilderness years
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Climate change impact has hurt F1’s image in Germany, says Hulkenberg
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Hulkenberg: Haas F1 car fix is complex and "doesn't lay on the street"
Hulkenberg: Haas F1 car fix is complex and "doesn't lay on the street" Hulkenberg: Haas F1 car fix is complex and "doesn't lay on the street"