Nico Hülkenberg




Date of birth:

August 19, 1987

Country of birth:



Nico Hülkenberg is rightfully dubbed the ‘comeback kid’. After disappearing from the sport following the 2019 season, he has made several returns to Formula 1 as a substitute. In 2023, the German driver secures a permanent position with Haas, although significant successes in his Formula 1 career have yet to materialize.

Hülkenberg’s affable nature has made him popular in the Netherlands, a sentiment bolstered by his Dutch-language interviews. His fluency in the language is a product of his upbringing. Born in Emmerich, near the Dutch border, Hülkenberg began karting in the Netherlands at the age of ten, primarily in Eefde and Emmen. His winning streak started early. In 2008, he became the champion of the Formula 3 Euro Series and progressed to the GP2. In his debut season, he won the championship, catapulting himself into Formula 1.

In 2010, Williams offered him a contract, and alongside Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello, the young German was set to make his mark. That year, Hülkenberg was one of five Germans on the Formula 1 grid, alongside Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, and Adrian Sutil.

In his debut season, Hülkenberg scored 22 points and secured his first pole position at the Brazilian Grand Prix. The following year, he took a step back and began testing for Force India. In 2012, he replaced Adrian Sutil and returned to the Formula 1 grid. Until 2017, ‘The Hulk’ drove for the team, achieving three fourth-place finishes but never making it to the podium. This streak began to haunt him.

The Impact of COVID-19

At the end of 2019, Hülkenberg’s stint with Renault came to an end, and for the first time since 2011, he spent a year on the sidelines. In 2019, he filled in twice for Racing Point and did so again in 2022 for Sebastian Vettel, who was sidelined due to COVID-19. The nickname ‘Hulkenback’ began to circulate more frequently, as Hülkenberg became the go-to replacement when regular drivers were unable to race.

In 2023, after a two-year absence, the affable German returned to Formula 1. At Haas, Hülkenberg and Kevin Magnussen were tasked with fighting for points. He was the only remaining German on the Formula 1 grid. During the season, rumors surfaced about a possible spot alongside Max Verstappen at Red Bull in the future. These rumors had circulated before, and only time would tell their validity. Until then, Hülkenberg focused on achieving success with Haas, expressing his comfort with the American team in various interviews throughout the year.

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