• Hülkenberg to compete for Audi in Formula 1 from 2026
  • Andreas Seidl: “Nico’s determination and desire will help us move forward”
Nico Hülkenberg

The course for Audi’s Formula 1 project continues to be set. Following the announcement of the complete takeover of the Sauber Group to accelerate preparations for the brand’s entry into F1, the first driver has now been confirmed: Nico Hülkenberg has signed a multi-year contract with Sauber and will start for the Audi factory team in 2026. He will be driving for Sauber as early as 2025 and accompany the transformation to the factory team, as the Swiss company announced today.

With his experience of more than 200 F1 races, the German will make an important contribution to the development phase of Audi’s future team: “The signing of Nico is the next milestone for Audi’s Formula 1 project. With his speed, his experience and his dedicated teamwork, he will make an important contribution to Audi’s entry in 2026 as early as next year,” says Andreas Seidl, CEO of the future Audi F1 factory team. “Right from the start, there was great mutual interest in tackling a project of this uniqueness together. Nico is a strong personality, his determination and desire on a professional and personal level will help us to make progress both in the development of the car and in building up the team.”

Nico Hülkenberg says: “The prospect of competing for Audi is something very special. When a German manufacturer enters Formula 1 with such determination, it’s a unique opportunity. To represent the factory team of such a car brand with a power unit made in Germany is a great honor for me.”

The appointment of Nico Hülkenberg follows the plan announced in March to take over Sauber completely and the appointment of Oliver Hoffmann as General Representative of the Board of Management of Audi for the Formula 1 commitment. In this role, Hoffmann also chairs the boards of directors of all Sauber companies and the shareholders’ meeting of Audi Formula Racing GmbH, which is responsible for the development of the power unit at the Neuburg site.

Further information on the signing of Nico Hülkenberg can be found in the Sauber press release.