‘He won’t be angry’: Guenther Steiner offers extra incentive for Nico Hulkenberg podium

Nico Hulkenberg holds the unfortunate record of the most career starts without a podium in Formula 1.

Despite first appearing on the Formula 1 grid in 2010 and having 184 starts to date, Nico Hulkenberg has failed to claim a top three finish.

The German driver has raced for Williams, Force India, Sauber, Renault and Haas but hasn’t been able to get a seat on the podium. 

Hulkenberg’s painful wait for a podium nearly came to an end at the Australian Grand Prix but a decision to revert to the previous starting order saw him end in P7.

With Hulkenberg improving as the season goes on, Haas has revealed the planned celebrations at the team should the 35-year-old finally collect a trophy. 

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“I’m not talking about driver contracts, but he’ll definitely get something,” Haas team principal Guenther Steiner told German broadcaster ntv.

“I can be open about it – he won’t be angry. It will be more than a bottle of beer or wine.”

Steiner appeared to suggest that the team offers rewards to all its drivers should they secure a podium finish for Haas.

“There’s always an incentive, but it’s not just a material thing for Nico,” the team principal said. 

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“We all know he’s a very good Formula 1 driver, but he’s never been on the podium.  

“For him, that would also be a crowning achievement for his career. It would also be nice for Haas.”

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Should Hulkenberg secure a podium, it wouldn’t just be a momentous moment for the German but the team he know drives for, as no Haas has ever finished in the top three.

“We already have a pole position and a fastest race lap, so we’re missing the podium and then the win. And you have to work hard to get that done,” Steiner said.

“But it will happen at some point, I’m sure of it.”