Nico Hulkenberg is already starting to look beyond even the 2024 season in Formula 1.
It is almost certain now that the 35-year-old, who returned to the grid this year after a forced retirement, will be retained by Haas beyond this season.
“Currently, the stars and the signs are such that the marriage will continue,” Hulkenberg told the German program 30 Minuten.
However, the German’s speed has been so impressive alongside his established Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen that he is looking even beyond 2024.
“A lot will happen in the driver market at the end of 2024, as some contracts will expire,” said Hulkenberg. “I will be as attractive as possible.”
Hulkenberg has been particularly impressive in qualifying, with Haas engineers currently trying to figure out why the tyres then wear so excessively in the race.
“All we can see is that Nico drives fast,” team boss Gunther Steiner told f1-insider.com when asked about Hulkenberg’s impressive qualifying pace.
“Otherwise, there is no secret behind it.”
So as far as Hulkenberg is concerned, he remains good enough to drive for a true top team – even though he’s never even stood on a Formula 1 podium.
“Absolutely,” he confirmed. “You don’t drive 200 or 250 grands prix if you’re not good. I think that speaks for itself.
“At the moment I can very well imagine driving for a few more years. But I’ll take it as it comes, and everything that comes is an encore.”
Indeed, Steiner may even try to sign Hulkenberg for more than just the 2024 season.
“We are very happy with the drivers at the moment,” he told Bild newspaper at the Red Bull Ring.
“We’re not in a hurry to sign the contract, but we’ll do it as soon as possible.”
However, the issue of whether Hulkenberg will be retained in some capacity is already settled.
“No, exactly. We don’t have to have too many discussions about that,” Steiner smiled.