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Audi influence stirring up 2025 driver market, says Haas

Audi influence stirring up 2025 driver market, says Haas
© Reuters
It appears that Haas may part ways with Nico Hulkenberg at the end of the season.

It appears that Haas may part ways with Nico Hulkenberg at the end of the season.

Last season, the now-sacked team leader Gunther Steiner ended Hulkenberg's retirement as he was hired to take struggling Mick Schumacher's place, where he quickly proved his worth.

This situation has placed veteran Haas driver Kevin Magnussen in a precarious position, as the team's new manager, Ayao Komatsu, informed the Danish publication Ekstra Bladet that extending Magnussen's contract into 2025 is still uncertain.

Yet, Haas is evidently keen on keeping Hulkenberg on board.

"There is a team that is really putting pressure on the driver market at the moment," Komatsu revealed to Sky Deutschland while in Shanghai.

This 'team' is most likely Sauber, now fully owned by Audi, which is also rumored to have extended a substantial three-year contract offer to Carlos Sainz for the years 2025 through 2027.

Alessandro Alunni Bravi, representing the team, did not outright refute these claims.

"There are 14 drivers without a fixed contract for next year," he stated during the China GP weekend. "So we are speaking with different drivers."

"Let me just say that we are happy to play a different role in the driver market for the future thanks to Audi's announcement and all the investment that will be done in order to improve our team," Bravi further commented.

"Finally we are attractive and we are not spectators - we are a player in the market."

With the reshuffling induced by Audi, current Sauber drivers Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou appear to be heading for the door, while Hulkenberg, Sainz, Sergio Perez, and Sebastian Vettel are all rumoured to be in the mix for potential 2025 positions.

Nico Rosberg, the 2016 world champion, sees fellow German Hulkenberg as an ideal fit for Audi.

"I would definitely recommend him to Audi at this point," he told Sky Deutschland in Shanghai. "He is a very, very good candidate for one of the cockpits, with a lot of experience. He would be a very good fit."

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Sauber's Valtteri Bottas pictured on March 6, 2024
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