Nico Hulkenberg opens up on Ferrari offer

Nico Hulkenberg was considered by Ferrari to replace Felipe Massa for 2014.

Nico Hulkenberg has incredibly revealed that he came “close at one stage” in his Formula 1 career to joining one of the leading teams on the grid, but that it’s something he isn’t “crying about”.

The Haas driver is by far one of the most experienced drivers on the current grid, with the German having made his debut all the way back in 2010 for Williams at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Throughout his F1 career, Hulkenberg has driven for several midfield teams; however, he’s never been given an opportunity at a leading side.

Despite this, he recently revealed that he came very close to joining one of the best teams on the grid, only for the side to choose another driver.

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“There’s always silly season, rumours every summer,” Hulkenberg replied to a question in a Reddit AMA.

“There’s no point dwelling about it or talking about it because that’s in the past, but I’m pretty certain I came close at one stage to signing with one of the top teams.

“But in the end it didn’t happen for one reason or another, which if obviously a bit gutting, but I’ve had a decent career in Formula 1 anyway and no thinking back or crying about it now.”

Whilst Hulkenberg failed to actually name the team in question, he did admit back in 2019 that he was on the verge of joining Ferrari for 2014, only for the Maranello-based team to instead re-sign 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen.

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“There were definitely some talks and I think there was a realistic opportunity for quite a decent period of time but then unfortunately in the end it did fall through,” the German said in 2019.

With the Haas driver now being in the latter stages of his F1 career, the chances are he won’t ever get to race for a leading side; however, his recent form will perhaps give them something to think about.

Despite having been a reserve driver from 2020-2022, Hulkenberg has made an exceptional start to the 2023 F1 season.

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The 35-year-old has been a demon in qualifying this season and has been a regular Q3 contender, proving that he certainly didn’t lose any of his speed whilst sitting on the side-lines.

After five races, he does sit ahead of team-mate Kevin Magnussen in the Drivers’ Championship, thanks to his seventh-place finish at the Australian Grand Prix.

The inter-Haas battle will certainly be a fascinating watch as the season develops, given that both drivers are pushing for a new contract.