Team Renault Sport Formula 1 Team
Nationality German
Date of Birth 19 Aug 1987
F1 Debut Bahrain 2010 with Williams Cosworth
F1 Team Williams, Force India, Sauber, Renault

Nico Hulkenberg

In Singapore

Hülkenberg in Singapore:

2010 Williams: qualified 9th, finished 10th
2011 did not enter ('third driver' with Force India)
2012 Force India: qualified 11th, finished 14th
2013 Sauber: qualified 11th, finished 9th
2014 Force India: qualified 13th, finished 9th
2015 Force India: qualified 11th, did not finish
2016 Force India: qualified 8th, did not finish

Still searching for the podium in Formula One

Big things were expected of Nico Hulkenberg when he joined Formula One in 2010. The German has been a champion all the way, from his teenage karting days to Formula BMW in his native Germany, then on to A1 Grand Prix (2007), the F3 Euroseries (2008) and another title-winning performance in his rookie GP2 season (2009).

“The Hulk” continued to build on that reputation in 2010, when he joined Williams, for whom he had already been a test and reserve driver, as a fully-fledged race driver. He certainly grabbed late season attention with pole position and fifth place in Brazil that year.

However, unlike some drivers who develop portfolios of sponsorship deals to help support their bids for a Formula One seat, Hulkenberg has always resolutely refused to follow that route. He remains a “paid driver”, rather than a “pay driver”, to this day.

As a result the German was outbid for his Williams drive in 2011 and was forced to spend a year in the comparative wilderness of a testing role at Force India, before earning his seat with the team in 2012. He scored his best result that year with fourth place at one of his favourite tracks, Spa-Francorchamps, and also set the fastest race lap in Singapore in 2012.

His move to Sauber in 2013 was tipped by many as a chance to acquaint himself with Ferrari engines and engineers ahead of a future move to the Scuderia. However the return of Raikkonen to the Prancing Horse in 2014 spoiled that plan.

Hulkenberg, who uses tennis both for relaxation and training is a fan of house music, returned to Force India in 2014 and finished 10th in the championship in 2015. He went on to finish ninth in the standings in 2016, but was out performed for much of the year by his teammate, Sergio Perez.

Although the German driver’s search for a Formula One podium continues in 2017, he scored a famous victory as part of Porsche’s driver line up at Le Mans in 2015, which is the biggest victory of his career to date.

Hulkenberg’s move to Renault in 2017 is the first time he has raced in Formula One for a works manufacturer team. Although the Enstone-based squad is expected to be racing in the midfield as it continues its quest to return to the podium, it will look to Hulkenberg to take the lead and return its investment.