Nico Hulkenberg told to ditch Haas

Nico Hulkenberg is reportedly set to be offered a new contract by Haas for 2024.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher has advised Nico Hulkenberg to search for a better seat on the grid than Haas, who have one of the worst race cars in Formula 1.

Haas’ 2023 season has been a complicated one, with Hulkenberg having been sensational in qualifying during his returning season to the sport.

The German has been a regular figure in Q3 this season; however, he’s rarely managed to convert his top 10 starts into points finishes.

This is due to Haas’ VF-23, which Hulkenberg revealed isn’t tyre friendly “as soon as we start pushing”.

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“It’s very frustrating as a driver, but you do what you can,” Hulkenberg said. “As soon as we start pushing, the car starts to slide and we destroy the tyres.”

Hulkenberg has often tumbled down the order during the races this season, with last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix having been no different.

He started in 10th but soon tumbled to 14th, where he finished the race.

Following the most recent round, Hulkenberg has called for the team to “find and do something” to improve the car, with the 35-year-old seemingly using McLaren’s sudden rise as inspiration.

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“The engineers and aerodynamicists have a duty to find and do something,” he told Sky Deutschland.

“We need a story like McLaren. In Saudi they were still behind us and then they completely turned it around. They actually brought a B car which has to be our role model.”

Should Haas fail to improve their race pace, then Schumacher has advised his fellow German to look for a seat elsewhere where he can make the most of his sensational qualifying performances.

Hulkenberg has staggeringly featured in Q3 this season the same number of times as Sergio Perez, highlighting how impressive he’s been over one lap.

Schumacher insists that “any option” on the grid would be better for Hulkenberg than Haas, who sacked the ex-F1 driver’s nephew, Mick Schumacher, to sign the veteran.

“It’s debatable how many other options there are for him, but probably any option would be better for him than Haas. You get the impression from the outside that there is more potential in the other teams,” Schumacher said.

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“A lot of money is invested at Williams, for example, and there is new momentum there, but also at Alpha Tauri. At Haas, one has the impression that it’s at a standstill.

“But finding a new cockpit is not easy for Nico. He has a bit of a reputation for being a perfect qualifier who can’t then exploit his potential in the race. That’s why he wants a good race car so much.

“I think he’s struggling a bit with the fact that he doesn’t have the opportunity to prove it,” Schumacher added.