The Sauber-run team were keen to bring Hulkenberg back to Hinwil but Haas chief Steiner blocked the move, according to a report by Swiss publication Blick

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Respected F1 journalist Roger Benoit reported that Alfa Romeo also considered a swoop for Aston Martin reserve and Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich before ultimately deciding to retain Zhou Guanyu alongside Valtteri Bottas for next season. 

Benoit noted there had been “fierce discussion and controversy” behind the scenes at Alfa Romeo “for weeks” as they weighed up their driver options for 2024.

36-year-old Hulkenberg, who has already agreed a new deal to continue at Haas next year, recently admitted his interest in driving for Audi’s future F1 programme. 

The Sauber team which Hulkenberg drove for a decade ago will become Audi’s works operation when it enters F1 in 2026. 

“It’s definitely one of the very attractive projects right now,” Hulkenberg told F1’s official Beyond The Grid podcast. 

“A new brand coming into Formula 1, very exciting, a German manufacturer as well, people that I’ve worked with and done really well before.  

“Yeah, it all sounds really nice and good on paper. Obviously I need to put in the good work, keep driving convincing drives, to maybe have a shot there. But only time will tell.” 

The German has enjoyed an impressive full-time return to F1 this year, having outperformed teammate Kevin Magnussen across the 14 races to have taken place so far.