Nico Hülkenberg named Audi’s first F1 driver for 2026 but starts racing from 2025

2026 marks a landmark year in the history of Formula1. Apart from the introduction of monumental changes to the race car regulations, 2026 will witness German carmaker Audi’s entry to motorsport’s most elite race. And as early as mid-2024, the Audi Factory team has announced the signing of its first driver – Nico Hülkenberg. The German racer with over 200 F1 races under his belt is one of the most experienced drivers in the sport and now signs a multi-year contract with Sauber. While Hülkenberg will appear in Audi factory team colours in 2026, he will be driving for Sauber as early as 2025, thereby making a return to F1 next year post a multi-year hiatus and accompany the transformation to the factory team. Nico Hülkenberg commented: “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.”

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