Hulkenberg Would Welcome Sainz To Audi-Sauber

Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg says he would have “no qualms” sharing the Sauber-Audi garage with Carlos Sainz next year.

According to Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, Sainz – who is being replaced at Ferrari by Lewis Hamilton from 2025 – has a lucrative Audi offer on his table.

“I think it’s just speculation,” Sauber team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi responded.

“Any driver would talk to a number of teams to understand the situation and whether there is a common vision for the project, especially if they are in the transition process towards 2026 like we are,” he added.

“But we are focused on and respecting our drivers. It would not be appropriate to reveal the details of the discussions that are currently taking place. No one knows what other teams are offering drivers or what they are talking about.

“Sometimes you don’t want to participate in someone else’s game,” Bravi added.

It is rumoured in Miami that Sainz, 29, recently let a deadline imposed by Audi pass – almost certainly because he’s waiting for Red Bull and Mercedes.

He denied that, but speaking with DAZN in Miami, Sainz did admit that his own future depends in some way on “Whatever Max does or doesn’t do”.

“I trust the feedback of the teams in which I could potentially drive next year but unfortunately it is not only my decision,” Sainz added. “I just need to wait for them to clarify and see what happens in the future.

“At the moment I am talking to everyone and it would be stupid of me if I wasn’t doing that.”

As for Hulkenberg, he has already been paired with Sainz before – at Renault in 2018.

“I have positive memories of Carlos,” the German told Auto Motor und Sport. “He is a pleasant fellow and fast. And a very hard worker.

“A lot has happened since 2018, I think he has also developed a lot, just like I have,” Hulkenberg, 36, added.

“I would have no concerns or qualms at all if he was my teammate. But that applies to anyone who could come.”

Hulkenberg says he’s aware that 2025 could be a challenging season for Sauber, a year before the Swiss team even officially transitions to Audi.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have an offer from Red Bull,” he laughed. “It’s always a question of alternatives.”

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