Vita Nico Hülkenberg
Nico Hülkenberg joins Renault Sport Formula One Team with an impressive racing career ahead of his eye-opening Formula 1 debut in 2010, with championship titles secured in Formula BMW, A1GP and the GP2 Series. Nico also achieved a pole position in his rookie F1 season and won at Le Mans on his debut, with Porsche in 2015.
Nico was announced as a Renault Sport Formula One Team driver for 2017 in October 2016 and he will make his race debut for the team at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Nico returned to Force India for a three-year spell, and after the first three races of the 2014 season he sat in third position in the Drivers’ Championship, behind the Mercedes juggernaut of Hamilton and Rosberg. He finished fifth four times that year, ending the season ninth in the standings. 2015 saw Nico finish tenth in the Drivers’ Championship. Outside of F1, Nico made his World Endurance Championship debut, driving for Porsche. Pairing Nick Tandy and Earl Bamber, Nico finished sixth in the Spa 6 Hours then the trio took victory at Le Mans in what was Nico’s debut at the iconic race. In Nico’s final season at Force India, he finished ninth in the F1 Drivers’ Championship, assisting Force India to take fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.
For 2013 Nico joined Sauber, impressing with third on the grid at the Italian Grand Prix for the Ferrari-powered C32, taking fifth in the same race. His best finish of the season was fourth in the Korean Grand Prix and he ranked tenth in the standings that year.
With Williams opting for Pastor Maldonado at the squad, Nico moved to Force India in a reserve position for 2011, driving in Friday practice sessions. He was promoted to a race seat the following year, qualifying for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix six places ahead of team-mate Paul di Resta. In that year’s Belgian Grand Prix he finished a career-best fourth. Nico looked set for glory in the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix, however a safety car period robbed him of a 45-second lead in the race so he was eventually to finish in fifth. He closed the 2012 season in eleventh.
2010 saw Nico’s Formula 1 debut with Williams, racing alongside the highly experienced Rubens Barrichello. In his third race, the Malaysian Grand Prix, he out-qualified Rubens and he scored his first Formula 1 point in the same race. After finishing a season-best of sixth in the Hungarian Grand Prix, Nico secured pole position on a difficult damp Interlagos track, with two of his qualifying laps on slick tyres fast enough for his P1 position. His fastest qualifying lap was over a second ahead of next quickest, Sebastian Vettel. Nico ended the year 14th in the standings.
After a successful karting career, Nico’s car racing started in German Formula BMW where he dominated the 2005 season, following in the footsteps of countryman Sebastian Vettel as champion. 2006 saw a graduation to German Formula Three and a race win, but it was the second season of the A1GP series, which started late in 2006 – contested in identical Lola chassis with more than 500 horsepower from their Zytek V8 engines – when people really took notice of the rising star. Driving for A1GP Team Germany, Nico claimed nine wins from the season’s 22 races, including six in a row. His emphatic performance secured Germany the crown and cemented Nico’s position as the most successful driver in A1GP history.
Two seasons in the F3 Euro Series from 2007 onwards followed, with third in the standings and four wins in his first outing, and the championship title and seven wins in the second. In 2009, Nico became one of only three drivers to win the GP2 Series in their first season, following in the footsteps of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. He secured his crown with five wins and five other podium finishes.