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Audi agree LONG-TERM F1 deal with star driver

Audi agree LONG-TERM F1 deal with star driver

Audi agree LONG-TERM F1 deal with star driver

Audi agree LONG-TERM F1 deal with star driver

Audi have agreed a long-term deal for the first of two drivers they hope to secure before the end of the season.

The German manufacturer have been making preparations for their official entry into Formula 1 in 2026, and have used the unusually early 'silly season' to reach out to some drivers.

READ MORE: F1 team set to axe BOTH star drivers

German outlet Sport1 report that Nico Hulkenberg will join the team (currently Kick Sauber) for the 2025 season and the subsequent two years, locking him in through his age-40 season.

Carlos Sainz is the hot favourite to join the German at the latter's home team, with his Ferrari slot unavailable beyond this season thanks to Lewis Hamilton's impending more to the Prancing Horse.

READ MORE: Mercedes star tipped to replace struggling driver THIS season

Hulkenberg looks to be leaving Haas
Sainz could join Hulkenberg at Audi

Rosberg: This would be an ideal move

The move for Hulkenberg – especially on a long-term contract – may look to some as a lack of ambition, with the 36-year-old tying the record for most F1 races without a single win last weekend.

Indeed, the German is yet to even step on the podium, but his countryman Nico Rosberg said: “Nico has a lot of experience, is fast and on the market. Other top teams do not rate his performance in the Haas highly enough and do not take advantage, so Audi should take advantage of this opportunity. That would be ideal for both sides.”

Ralf Schumacher also offered his thoughts on the move, claiming that Valtteri Bottas (34) is past his peak, and that Hulkenberg (36) would position the team better to improve through the new regulations in 2024.

“Bottas is past his peak and Guanyu is not good enough at the end of the day," he said. "Audi wants to get stronger every year and be optimally positioned in 2026, when there are new vehicle and engine regulations. With Hulkenberg and Sainz they would certainly be.”

READ MORE: Hamilton form raises Ferrari F1 move fears

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