‘I’m ready for another one!’ – Hulkenberg taking plenty of positives from comeback season despite Haas struggles
Nico Hulkenberg has explained that while 2023 was “not satisfying” in terms of the results he and Haas achieved, the many positives of returning to a full-time F1 seat “outweighed” the challenges faced.
After three years on the sidelines that saw him make occasional stand-in appearances for the then-named Racing Point and later the rebranded Aston Martin team, Hulkenberg sealed a comeback at Haas by replacing Mick Schumacher.
It turned out to be a difficult campaign for the US-led operation, who dropped to the foot of the constructors’ standings with just 12 points – nine scored by Hulkenberg and three by team mate Kevin Magnussen.
However, putting that points return to one side, and asked how much he has enjoyed simply being back in the cockpit of an F1 car, the German replied: “I have, I have very much actually.
“Whilst obviously the season sporting-wise is not satisfying and not what we wanted, far from it actually, still all the other positives outweigh the difficult Sundays and the lack of points.
“Just being in the competition again, fighting on Lap 1, that thrill, that excitement, and altogether the work with the team… even the travelling, the [other] stuff, it’s all good. I feel happy and ready for another one.”
Hulkenberg and Haas’s campaign ended with another point-less showing at last weekend’s finale in Abu Dhabi, but the 36-year-old is optimistic that the squad will find themselves in better shape next year.
“It’s the story of the season, we just don’t have enough pace,” he commented after the Yas Marina encounter. “I think [tyre] deg probably was not the problem today, just pace, we couldn’t keep up with the faster cars.”
Hulkenberg added: “It’s just one more time, but we put that one to bed now and hopefully have some better tools next year.”