Nico Hülkenberg will drive for Haas in 2023 alongside Danish driver Kevin Magnussen. Magnussen sees the arrival of the 35-year-old driver as an asset to the American team.
After the announcement of Nico Hülkenberg’s arrival at Haas, Kevin Magnussen had the opportunity to express his views on this change within the team, even though relations between the two drivers have not always been smooth.
Ahead of the final round of the 2022 F1 season, the Haas team announced the name of the driver who would be alongside Kevin Magnussen in 2023. Nico Hulkenberg was chosen to replace Mick Schumacher in the American team. After the Grand Prix, Kevin Magnussen gave his opinion on the change of teammate.
“Suck my balls…”
“I can’t wait to start working with Nico and get him involved. He is a very experienced driver and I think he will hopefully be a big asset to the team. We’ve had a fun season this year and I’m looking forward to taking another step forward next year.”
Nico Hülkenberg, 35, is indeed an experienced driver, having started just under 200 Grands Prix and driven for a number of teams including Williams, Force India, Renault, Sauber, Racing Point and Aston Martin.
The announcement of the German’s arrival alongside Kevin Magnussen brought back some memories about a tense episode between the two drivers at the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix. Hulkenberg had criticised Magnussen’s defensive driving during the post-race interviews and the Dane had responded with “suck my balls”.
The pair were battling for position in the Budapest race when Magnussen forced Hulkenberg off the track. The Haas driver was subsequently given a penalty for the move.
After the flag, Magnussen was in the middle of an interview with Danish TV when Hulkenberg approached, tapped him on the shoulder, and said, “Once again the most unsporting driver on the grid.”
Magnussen immediately replied, “Suck my balls, honey,” and carried on with the interview as Hulkenberg went away.
Asked what he expects from their working relationship, Magnussen said:
“I’m sure everything will be fine. I think at the beginning of this year it was the first time I really spoke to Nico. We met at the airport and then had a brief conversation at the drivers’ parade in Bahrain.”
Indeed, Nico Hülkenberg had replaced Sebastian Vettel, who tested positive for covid, at Aston Martin for the first two rounds of the 2022 season in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
“It’s kind of the first time we’ve laughed about what happened at the time in Hungary. It’s a funny thing that has been the subject of many jokes since. I think it’s going to be fun to be his teammate.”
The Haas team finished the 2022 season eighth in the constructors’ standings with 37 points, 25 of which were scored by Kevin Magnussen.
Nico Hülkenberg, meanwhile, made his first outing for Haas at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi. The German was able to complete 110 laps of the Yas Marina circuit and familiarise himself with his new team.