Massive Pay Rise Ahead for Nico Hulkenberg with Audi F1

Nico Hulkenberg is on the brink of a significant salary increase as he prepares to join Sauber for the F1 2025 season amid Audi’s aggressive entry plans into the sport.

Audi is ramping up its preparations for its highly awaited debut in the F1 circuit in 2026, where the German automaker will formally take charge of the existing Sauber team. Their recent move into the driver market saw them secure Hulkenberg’s signature from Haas.

While the identity of Hulkenberg’s teammate remains undisclosed, rumors suggest Audi is eyeing outgoing Ferrari ace Carlos Sainz. However, Red Bull has also been mentioned as a potential destination for Sainz.

Yet, Helmut Marko, a longstanding advisor at Red Bull, recently acknowledged their inability to match Audi’s enticing offer of a “very lucrative” three-year contract.

To secure their top talents, Audi appears ready to spare no expense. A report from German publication Bild suggests that Hulkenberg is set to pocket €5 million per season starting from 2025.

This marks a significant upgrade from his current €2 million annual earnings with Haas, where he made a comeback to the F1 grid in 2023 after a three-year hiatus.

Speaking to the press for the first time since the announcement of his move to Audi at the Miami Grand Prix, the 36-year-old Hulkenberg revealed that the deal came together swiftly after Sauber, based in Switzerland, expressed interest in re-signing him last year.

Reflecting on the rapid development, he quipped, “It just happened. I don’t know how it actually happened [laughs].

“Like normal, obviously at some point you start talking and obviously, as we all know, it has been and still is a very dynamic, fluid driver market situation.

“Already there was interest last year, but obviously I’m here and there was an opportunity, but the interest still seemed to be there from their side and they were quite keen and matched interest for the future going forward.

“It’s a very exciting, interesting project and hence the [quick] agreement.”