Nico Hulkenberg is spending the winter break preparing for his big comeback to Formula 1, with the German forming an incredibly experienced partnership next season at Haas with Kevin Magnussen.
The German is a veteran of the sport, with 181 starts to his name and one pole position; however, he’s never stepped foot on the rostrum.
He’ll be hoping to perhaps correct that statistic in 2023, where he’ll be focused on doing what he loves.
The returning driver has already gotten back into the swing of being a full-time competitor, with Hulkenberg having been the first driver to give his verdict on the recent update made by the FIA to the International Sporting Code.
From next season all the drivers will be banned from making political statements, unless they get permission from the governing body first.
Whilst the likes of Lewis Hamilton are likely to be outraged by the FIA’s ISC update, Hulkenberg doesn’t seem completely bothered by it.
He admits that the topic is “delicate”, but that he has never been someone to use F1 for “political views”.
“It’s a delicate, difficult subject,” Hulkenberg told German broadcaster ntv.
“We are athletes. We come to a country, a region, to do our work – to do what we love. I was never one to use this platform for political views anyway.
“So it won’t affect or impair me too much,” the 35-year-old insisted.
“Others will be affected more, but I think that’s a personal thing.
“Everyone has a personal attitude towards it.”
On the subject of delicate topics, Hulkenberg is replacing fan favourite Mick Schumacher at Haas, something that the team have been criticised for.
Hulkenberg admitted that he “never had a real relationship” with the 23-year-old and didn’t talk to him about taking his seat, with the former Renault driver adding that at the end of the day “F1 is about performance”.
“We haven’t spoken to each other about it,” he insisted.
“We never really exchanged ideas before that either.
“Mick is of a different generation. We never had a real relationship – something like he has with Sebastian (Vettel). The story is what the story is.
“If it hadn’t been me, it might have been someone else. F1 is about performance,” Hulkenberg explained.
“If you perform and you convince, you have a job. If there is no performance, it’s over very quickly.”
Overall, Hulkenberg is glad to be back in a full-time seat, after spending the last three seasons in a reserve role for Aston Martin and for Racing Point prior to that.
“I’ve been more relaxed in the last few years so it feels good to get up in the morning and feel your body again,” he said.