For Audi, “there is no urgency” to find the second driver for 2025

After the signing of Nico Hülkenberg, there is still a seat at Sauber for 2025 and the following years, in order to prepare and lead Audi's arrival in F1. In the German clan, we prefer to procrastinate...

Published on 14/05/2024 à 18:14

Dorian Grangier

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For Audi, “there is no urgency” to find the second driver for 2025

© Xavi Bonilla / DPPI

Who to accompany Nico Hulkenberg at Sauber – soon Audi F1 Team – from 2025? The second seat of the Swiss – soon to be German – team is among the most coveted. The project of the brand with the four rings is attracting attention, with its long-awaited arrival in the discipline in 2026. For its first driver, Audi preferred to cut short the rumors by quickly making the 36-year-old veteran official at the end of April.

“It is certain that Nico, with all his experience and personality, brings a lot to us as a future Audi factory team, on and off the track. He will be a very important element in the transformation of the team, but what matters above all is his speed,” said Andreas Seidl, CEO of the future Audi F1 Team, on the official Formula 1 website.

“It's just impressive to see how well he manages to come out on top in qualifying and in the races every competition weekend. That's why we wanted to recruit him and we had no reason to wait any longer. Nico was also very excited to join our exciting project and be part of Audi's journey to F1. »

Audi in no hurry to complete its crew

However, all options remain open for the second seat at Sauber – Audi. Rumors have been rife for several months: Valtteri Bottas et Guanyu-Zhou, both at the end of their contract at the end of the season, are in the hot seat and more attractive profiles are regularly linked to an arrival at Hinwil. One of the names that comes up most often is obviously that of Carlos Sainz : the Spaniard, looking for a seat in 2025, knows Andreas Seidl well having worked with him at McLaren in 2019 and 2020. But the three-time Grand Prix winner – who is also in the little papers of Mercedes et Red Bull – wants to give himself time… and Audi too.

“We are talking with Valtteri [Bottas] and Zhou [Guanyu] and we continue to follow their performances, explains Andreas Seidl. We are grateful for what they have done and continue to do for KICK Sauber. At the same time, we are active in the market, so that we have all options ready when we want to make a decision later in the year. (…) The driver market is difficult to predict at the moment. Nico being secure, there is no particular urgency to resolve the question of the second seat. We prefer to track the performance of our drivers and others we seek – and then make the best decision. »

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Dorian Grangier

A young journalist nostalgic for the motorsport of yesteryear. Raised on the exploits of Sébastien Loeb and Fernando Alonso.

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1 Comment (s)

Yves-Henri RANDIER

15/05/2024 at 12:22 a.m.

It's hard to believe that the only mullet cut on the grid and the only Chinese on the grid can still interest Audi even if the Chinese market is important for Audi!

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