Formula 1

Steiner Expecting Hülkenberg to be ‘Straight On It’ on Formula 1 Race Return

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Credit: Carl Bingham / LAT Images

Nico Hülkenberg’s performances during his stand-in drives across the past few seasons prove that the German will be on it from the start of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, according to his new Team Principal Guenther Steiner.

Hülkenberg lost his full-time role in Formula 1 at the end of the 2019 season when he was dropped by the Renault F1 Team, but since then, he has competed in five Grand Prix in place of COVID-19 hit drivers, three for the BWT Racing Point Formula 1 Team in 2020 and twice more for the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team in 2022.

The German will now return to the grid on a full-time basis in 2023 with the Haas F1 Team alongside Kevin Magnussen after being chosen to replace Mick Schumacher, who loses his seat after two years with the team.

And Steiner believes that the thirty-five-year-old will be straight on it when the season gets underway in Bahrain next March, and he was happy to see the German look strong after completing a good number of laps in the post-season test in Abu Dhabi last month.

“We looked at that one as well, but when he came in, when he replaced drivers in the last years, he was pretty on the ball straight away,” said Steiner to Motorsport.com.

“We’ve also got pre-season testing in Bahrain. I think he will be straight on it.  Physically, these F1 cars are quite demanding, and it will take him some time to get used to it because the only way you train your muscles is driving the cars.

“We cross that bridge next year, but he’s pretty fit.  I think we obviously had that question as well: ‘Is he straight on the ball when he comes back after being out?’

“But then you look at the results he did when he just jumped in last minute, he was pretty good.”

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