Formula 1

Hülkenberg Looking at ‘Three Months of Hardcore Preparation’ ahead of F1 Race Return

2 Mins read
Credit: Michael Potts / LAT Images

Nico Hülkenberg knows he will need three months of ‘hardcore preparation’ ahead of his return to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in 2023 after his first test with the Haas F1 Team last month left him struggling physically.

The German has been out of full-time racing in Formula since the end of the 2019 season, with Hülkenberg restricted to just five outings for COVID-19-hit drivers in that time, three for the BWT Racing Point Formula 1 Team in 2020 and two for the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team in 2022.

Hülkenberg, who will replace Mick Schumacher at Haas in 2023, completed one hundred and ten laps of the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in the post-season test, and he admitted that by the end of the day, he was suffering with some ‘human degradation’, although he was expecting that after so long out of racing.

“It’s not just the neck, it’s the body, too – the glutes have to work a lot,” Hulkenberg is quoted as saying by Racer.com. “It was hard, tough, was feeling some human degradation towards the end of the day, but that was to be expected.

“I coped better than I expected to be honest, so that’s good. Three months of hardcore preparation now.

“It’s obviously good, it does remind you and show you the intensity these cars have, then you add the race and the competition it’s another story again. I have a plan and I know what I have to do.”

Hülkenberg said it was important to get the time working with the team in Abu Dhabi in preparation for 2023, with his main focus not on lap time but settling into Haas’ way of working.

“It’s a lot of the basics that you can sort out or identify and try and fix for next year, which just saves time that once you get going you can focus on the performance,” Hülkenberg added.  “It’s not about lap time.

“The basics, the comfort that happens, but the important stuff is performance, stuff you identify (that’s good), where can we do better, how can we go faster, pinpoint that and work with the engineers to find ways and solutions on that.

“Obviously next year it’s a new car so the cards will be shuffled again a bit, so we’ll see what we get once we get working.”

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