Driver Nico Hülkenberg will compete for Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber for the following Formula One season and beyond, having signed a multi-year contract that extends at least until 2026. In that year, he will become the first driver for Audi’s entry into the top class of motorsport. With experience from over 200 F1 races, Nico is an essential building block for the continuing successful development of the team. In parallel to his commitments for Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber in the 2025 season, he will be closely involved in developing Audi’s first F1 car for 2026.

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“We are thrilled to welcome Nico Hülkenberg back to Hinwil from 2025 and to compete with him in Formula One. His speed, experience, and commitment to teamwork will be instrumental in our team’s transformation and Audi’s F1 project,” said Andreas Seidl, CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG and the future Audi F1 factory team. The decision to work together has not been taken lightly. There was a strong mutual interest in building something long-term from the outset. Nico’s return to Sauber, a team he has previously worked with and has a solid connection to, is a strategic move that underlines our commitment to success. His strong personality and professional and personal input will undoubtedly help us progress in car development and team building.

Nico Hülkenberg is one of the most accomplished drivers in Formula One. He has repeatedly proven his ability to establish himself quickly in a new environment and tackle new challenges with determination. This is not his first encounter with the team. “I’m returning to the team I worked with back in 2013 and have fond memories of the strong team spirit in Switzerland,” said the racing driver from Emmerich-am-Rhein. “The prospect of competing for Audi is something extraordinary. When a German manufacturer enters Formula One with determination, it is a unique opportunity. To represent the factory team of such a car brand with a power unit made in Germany is a great honour for me.”

Nico proved his talent early on with four titles between 2005 and 2009 in the most critical single-seater junior categories. In 2008, he attracted attention during test drives in Formula One before making his debut in 2010, competing in more than 200 races for seven different Formula One teams. He has achieved numerous podium finishes and has consistently performed throughout his career. In an unusual move for his generation of drivers, Nico competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) during an ongoing Formula One season in 2015, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans on his debut. His team principal at the time was Andreas Seidl. All is set for a reunion.

Background information 

With the decision to fully acquire the Sauber Group, AUDI AG in March has set an essential course for their announced entry into F1 in 2026 – thus accelerating Sauber’s transformation into a factory team. As CEO of the future Audi Formula 1 factory team, Andreas Seidl oversees operational implementation. Oliver Hoffmann is responsible for the Formula 1 programme in his new role as Chief Representative of the Audi Board of Management. In this function, he is the chair of the boards of directors of all Sauber companies and the shareholders’ meeting of Audi Formula Racing GmbH, which is responsible for developing the power unit at the Neuburg facility.


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