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Nico Hulkenberg has had an incredibly prolific career in Formula 1, and he has often been labelled as one of the drivers who has ‘slipped through the net’.
World Championships 🏆
Race Wins 🏁
Debut Race 🏎️
14th March, 2010
(Bahrain Grand Prix)
As one of F1’s most travelled journeymen, he has been able to show his tremendous talent over the years, and he has become adored by racing fans while doing so.
The prince that never managed to wear the crown
Hulkenberg began his career in the topflight with the legendary British team, Williams in 2010. Partnered with the vastly experienced Rubens Barrichello, the then 23-year-old started his Formula 1 legacy with an almighty bang, as he took his first and only pole position at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix. He conquered unpredictable weather conditions to top the grid, but he could only guide his Williams to eighth place on race day.
Despite having a great rookie season, the German was let go by Williams and had to settle for a reserve driver position at Force India. However, in the following season, he was promoted to a full-time driver position and replaced Adrian Sutil for the 2012 campaign.
It was another incredible year for Hulkenberg, who managed to outperform his teammate, Paul di Resta, on his first year back in Formula 1. The German finished 17 points ahead of his fellow Force India driver and out-qualified him by 12 to eight. After a near victory in Brazil, which gave the driver a lot of attention, Sauber came calling.
Hulkenberg continued to show his talent in his first and only season with Sauber, by becoming the star of the team. In the 2013 season, he finished 10th in the standings, 45 points ahead of his teammate, and displayed his excellent race craft by finishing 10 races in the points.
For the next three seasons, fan named ‘Hulk,’ returned to Force India, and continued to show his impressive consistency standards. Alongside Sergio Perez, he finished each season between ninth and tenth in the driver’s standings. In 2015, he emphatically won the Classic Le Mans 24 hours for Porsche, which gave the driver a new sense of stardom.
In 2017, Hulkenberg was signed by Renault and raced with the French team for three years. The following year, he earned finished seventh in the driver’s standings, his best performance yet. But after a poor season in 2019, his worst since his 2010 rookie campaign, he was left without a team.
After four years without a seat on the Formula 1 grid, the 35-year-old was given the opportunity to drive for Haas. He partners fellow fan favourite, Kevin Magnussen, until 2024. Currently, Hulkenberg is extending his record for the driver with the most races without a podium finish and he would have to do something special to change that this season.
A comfortable upbringing
Hulkenberg was born into a fairly wealthy family, who owned a shipping company called Hulkenberg Spedition e. K. His father, Klaus Dieter Hulkenberg, and mother, Susanne Hulkenberg, gave their son training to be a freight forwarding agent. However, he chose to be a racing driver, which you could say, paid off.
The Haas driver also has a sister, Stephanie, of whom there is little information about.
The fashionista standing alongside Nico Hulkenberg
The German is married to Lithuanian fashion designer and model, Eglė Ruškytė, who runs her own beachwear and handmade crochet clothes company. She reportedly has a net worth of $5 million after finding vast success in her fashion career. The duo has been together since 2015, and now have a young daughter called Noemi-Sky.
How much does Nico Hulkenberg earn?
Despite having just returned from four years away from Formula 1, Hulkenberg reportedly has a net worth of $10 million and is reportedly earning a salary of $4 million at Haas. The German has also recently bought a team in the ESkootr Championship, called 27X by Nico Hulkenberg.
- Full name: Nicolas Hulkenberg
- Date of birth: 19th August, 1987
- Age: 35
- Place of birth: Emmerich am Rhein, Germany
- Nationality: German
- Team: Haas F1 Team
- Race number: 27
How Nico Hulkenberg became one of the hottest prospects in Formula 1
Hulkenberg began his racing career in 1997, aged just 10. Then, the first signs of promise came in 2002 when he became the German Junior Karting champion. In the following year, he went on to win the German Kart Championship.
After showing such high potential, Willi Weber became the driver’s manager and predicted he would be ready for Formula 1 by 2008. Weber was previously the manager of Michael Schumacher, of which he compared to the Hulkenberg himself and labelled the young driver as an ‘unbelievable talent.’
In 2005, Hulkenberg went on to drive in Formula BMW. He dominated the championship and comfortably won the title. Nico Rosberg and Timo Glock are former winners of the series, but there have been no notable winners since Hulkenberg himself.
For the following three years, the German raced in Formula 3 in the German Formula 3 Championship and the Formula 3 Euro Series. For the latter, he joined ASM which was the team that guided Lewis Hamilton and Di Resta to the last two championships. Hulkenberg won the series in 2008, after a dominant season with seven wins and 85 points.
He was then promoted to the GP2 Series where he raced with ART Grand Prix for two seasons, one in the GP2 Asia Series and the other in the main championship. In 2009, he emphatically won the series, 25 points ahead of second place and broke the 100-point barrier. Hulkenberg then became the second driver, behind Hamilton, to win the F3 title, and the GP2 title in consecutive years.
Can Nico Hulkenberg reach his star high potential before it’s too late?
It will be an incredibly difficult F1 season for Hulkenberg, who will be facing the challenge of adapting to one of the most intense sports on the planet after a four-year hiatus. Aged 35, it may be his last chance to reach the sky-high potential that was set for him since his first season in the series.
The talent is clearly there for the driver, and as Fernando Alonso has shown, age means nothing in Formula 1. It would be a poetic end to the German’s career if he could take that podium and stop his record of most Formula 1 races without a podium from increasing.