Dutch journalist claims Max Verstappen and Nico Hulkenberg will become team-mates

Nico Hulkenberg was previously tipped to join Red Bull, but they ultimately signed Sergio Perez instead.

Journalist Erik van Haren has said he “wouldn’t be surprised” to see Max Verstappen one day team up with Nico Hulkenberg.

The German Haas driver is currently ranked at number 14 in the Driver’s Standings.

Van Haren clarified this would likely not be in the context of F1 racing, but rather at Le Mans 24 Hours.

Van Haren was speaking with two other journalists for the F1 Nation Podcast when he made these remarks. 

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

The trio were reflecting on yet another Red Bull-dominated race at Spa-Francorchamps.

Max Verstappen took pole position, while his Mexican teammate Sergio Perez continued his return to form, claiming second place.

Verstappen recorded back-to-back victories during the Belgian GP weekend – in both the Sprint Race and Sunday’s main event.

In contrast, Hulkenberg placed 18th at Spa-Francorchamps.

Article continues below

McLaren will be sorely disappointed by their performance at the Belgian GP, which saw Lando Norris come in seventh place and Oscar Piastri register a DNF result.

There was finally some good news for Ferrari, as Charles Leclerc claimed his third podium position of the year, coming in roughly ten seconds behind Perez.

These results may make some confused as to why Van Haren predicts a link-up between two-time world champion Verstappen and Hulkenberg.

However, Hulkenberg was spotted entering Red Bull’s garage after the race – following high praise from Helmut Marko.

Marko jokingly stated: “Let’s put it that way. We’ll get him [Nico Hulkenberg] for qualifying and Perez will then drive the race.”

Verstappen is known to be good friends with the German driver off the grid and Van Haren believes this might result in them partnering at Le Mans one day.

However, there is a ten-year age gap between the drivers, so this prediction would have to occur sooner than later.

Van Haren’s co-host, Natalie Pinkman, commented on Hulkenberg as he approached the Red Bull garage, saying “What’s going on there?”

READ: ‘Not that he’s missed out’: Why Toto Wolff demanded change after George Russell incident

The third host, Tom Clarkson, answered: “Well, funnily enough, that was a new story this weekend because Helmut Marko was bigging up the efforts of Nico Hulkenberg.”

He further observed: “Nico and Max, they get along well together.

“If they’re not teammates in Formula 1, you don’t have to be surprised if maybe in a few years’ time, they are going to 24 Hours of Le Mans together.”