‘What’s going on there?’ - Hulkenberg spotted paying Red Bull a visit

Haas F1 driver Nico Hulkenberg was spotting paying a visit to the Red Bull motorhome during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend. 
Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Haas F1 Team on th
Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Haas F1 Team on th

Hulkenberg, who has returned to the F1 grid on a full-time basis this year with Haas, was seen heading to Red Bull by Sky presenter Natalie Pinkham, who questioned the nature of the surprise trip. 

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“It interests me that Nico Hulkenberg just walked past us to go into Red Bull,” Pinkham said on the F1 Nation podcast. “What’s going on there?”

But F1 Nation guest and respected Dutch journalist Erik van Haren quickly poured cold water over any suggestion that Hulkenberg could be angling for a move to Red Bull. 

“I think he has a very good connection with the Verstappen camp, and I think Max is here with his private jet and Nico lives in Monaco, maybe that’s the reason he is here,” Van Haren suggested.

“Because he has his bag already with him and he has changed his clothes, so I think that’s the reason but we can check that.”

Qualifying top three in parc ferme (L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Haas F1 Team, second; Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull
Qualifying top three in parc ferme (L to R): Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Haas F1…

While he doubted a tie-up in F1, van Haren suggested that Max Verstappen and Hulkenberg could team up for a future assault on the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

“Nico and Max, they get well along together, I think if they will not be team-mates in Formula 1, you don’t have to be surprised if maybe in a few years’ time they are going to 24 Hours of Le Mans together,” he added. 

The 35-year-old German has impressed on his F1 comeback with a series of eye-catching displays in qualifying, including a stunning lap that was good enough for second on the grid in Canada.

Hulkenberg’s standout qualifying performances were noted by Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, who suggested that a combination of Sergio Perez and Hulkenberg would be the “perfect” teammate for Verstappen. 

Perez has struggled to match Verstappen over one lap and recently endured a torrid run of five consecutive races without making a Q3 appearance. 

"The two would be the perfect qualifying and race combination,” Marko told Motorsport-Total. 

However, Marko seemingly ruled out a driver change for 2024 as he appeared to confirm that Perez’s seat is safe. 

“We have a contract with Perez until the end of 2024," he added. “He’s second in the world championship. Why would there be a need for action?” 

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