I'm an F1 enthusiast who has followed the sport since childhood. During all those years, I gained loads of knowledge about Formula 1.
Hülkenberg Is One of the Most Experienced Drivers
There is no getting around the fact that Nico Hülkenberg is one of the most experienced drivers to be on the grid for the 2023 Formula One season. The 35-year-old German has raced for many, many years in Formula One and has overall been a very successful driver.
He, unfortunately, still doesn't have a podium to his name (and holds the infamous record with most races without a podium finish), but through the years, he has always been at the top of the midfield pack and has proven consistency and stability as a driver.
Hülkenberg Knows How to Develop a Fast Car
Hülkenbeg possesses very good knowledge about the technical side of Formula One. He has proven to be great at developing Formula 1 teams forward and has done so with both Force India and Renault, two teams that managed to improve a lot with the german behind the wheel.
Being able to drive and race in an F1 car is not everything. Formula One drivers need to have exceptional knowledge of how the vehicles technically work, to be able to develop the car further together with the team. That is not an easy task whatsoever, as Formula One cars are extreme when it comes to the technical aspects.
If a driver can provide detailed feedback to the engineers about the different aspects of the car, then it provides a valuable tool for the engineers to work with. The behavior, how the car feels on the track during different situations, and how the overall handling is – all these things matter a lot.
If a driver nails a car understatement, then the team has great potential to be able to develop the vehicle to the driver's liking, which usually results in better speed overall. It also helps the team to design specific updates that can enhance performance, and make the car faster across a season.
Hülkenberg Is a Consistent Driver
Consistency is vital in Formula One. An F1 team doesn't gain anything by hiring a driver that cannot deliver consistent results week in, and week out. That's why the Haas F1 Team decided to let Mick Schumacher go and went with Nico Hülkenberg instead.
Schumacher lacked consistency during his two years in Formula One with Haas. While he had his highs from time to time, his lows have been massive. They did cost the team a lot of money due to unnecessary crashes that have hurt Haas a lot when it comes to car development and overall result in the championship as well.
On the other side, Hülkenberg has always been a driver that can maximize the car's potential on regular basis, while also staying away from trouble. That is also the reason why he got to race even in the 2020 and 2022 seasons on a few occasions when one of Aston Martin's (before known as Racing Point) drivers needed to be replaced due to health issues.
Hülkenberg has always been ready and managed to make the most of every opportunity he got during a time when he didn't have a full-time seat in Formula One. On all the occasions when he was used as a reserve driver, he did it with style, showing no downward tendency whatsoever.
Why Hülkenberg Can Be the Right Fit for Haas
Let's face it. Haas has had a tremendously difficult time on and off the track during recent years. It was on very few occasions that the USA-based squad owned by Gene Haas proved its speed since the 2019 season, during which the problems started.
But before that time, when Haas was more or less a rookie team that joined the F1 grid for the first time in 2016, they were a team to count on in the midfield battle. Their best season was in 2018 when the team succeeded in finishing fifth in the constructor's standings, only a couple of points behind Renault, a factory team that at that time had much more financial resources to spend on development.
Haas's worst season came in 2021. What should have been a complete restart with two young rookies aboard was instead looking like a complete, utter nightmare, after both drivers failed to reach the level necessary for being competitive.
Next season will be a second proper restart and one during which the team can count on two matadors in Formula One racing. The danish Kevin Magnussen will continue with the team since he rejoined at the beginning of this season, and his companion will be, as already stated, Nico Hülkenberg. Both drivers have a lot of years in Formula One under their belts and all the knowledge necessary to push Haas toward better days.
As stated above, Hülkenberg has a lot to bring to the table. Given the poor performances that Haas had in recent years, it's a total no-brainer that the team principal Günther Steiner decided to with the experienced German. Can Hülkenberg help another team and bring Haas back to the spotlight?
Interesting Statistics About Nico Hülkenberg
Let's take a look at some interesting statistics about Nico Hülkenberg.
- Hülkenberg started in 181 races and achieved 522 points in these races, which means that his average score is 2,88 points per race.
- He took one pole position in his Formula One career, meaning he started at the front in one of those races.
- Although Hülkenberg has scored points in most of the races he participated in, he still has a podium finish to achieve. Can he break the curse during the next season?
- He is the only driver that made at least one race start in a team that changed its name three times through the years – Force India, Racing Point, and Aston Martin.
- Although he didn't have a full-time seat since the end of 2019, when he parted ways with Renault, he still made appearances in both the 2020 and 2022 World Championship.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Jan Stepan