Nico Hulkenberg ‘feels no pressure’ despite Sebastian Vettel retirement

For the first time in recent history, the 2023 grid will only feature a single German driver.

Nico Hulkenberg will be replacing his younger countryman Mick Schumacher at Haas for 2023, after spending a spell away from the grid, most recently serving as a reserve driver for Aston Martin.

Unlike in his previous spells in F1 however, as Hulkenberg looks up and down the grid on the first race weekend of 2023, he will realise that he is the only German driver racing in F1 next season.

Alongside Mick Schumacher’s departure, F1 stalwart Sebastian Vettel will also not be on the grid next year, after the 35-year-old announced his retirement from the sport earlier this year, bowing out in Abu Dhabi.

Over the years Germany has provided Formula 1 with some serious talent, such as Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel to name a few, and Hulkenberg has claimed that his nation have spoilt F1 fans with their plethora of talented drivers.

READ: Helmut Marko says Sebastian Vettel can return to Red Bull, but with a pay cut

“I think it comes in waves,” suggested the 35-year-old when asked about being the only German driver in 2023.

“Some nations like France for a long time they had nothing and then Romain [Grosjean], Pierre [Gasly] and Esteban [Ocon].

“It’s just natural that waves of nations come and go into F1.

“Obviously Germany, over the decades was very spoilt in F1, having Michael [Schumacher], Nico [Rosberg] and Sebastian [Vettel] and obviously Mercedes as a manufacturer as well.

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“We still have Mercedes as a manufacturer, but I feel no pressure from that side [of being the only German driver].”

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It is likely that Hulkenberg’s period of carrying Germany’s F1 representation on his shoulders will not last long, as Audi prepare to enter the fray in 2026 and will most likely want to bring a German driver with them.

It has been rumoured that the team, who will be taking over Sauber, will look to tempt Sebastian Vettel out of retirement, however if this is not possible they may look to Mick Schumacher as another option of German representation.

As Hulkenberg suggested that national dominance in F1 comes in waves, it appears that the sport is entering a golden generation of British drivers at the grid currently features a stunning array of talent including Lando Norris, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with the two younger drivers tipped as future world champions.