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Nico Hulkenberg to Use Ferrari Simulator in 2023

Written by Vyas Ponnuri

Image credits - Image credits - Gongora/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The alliance between Scuderia Ferrari and the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team continues to strengthen. The American outfit has entered into an agreement to let Nico Hulkenberg use Ferrari’s simulator, as he looks to make more gains on his return to the Formula One grid in 2023.

Having dabbled as a ‘Super Sub’ with Racing Point, and later Aston Martin during the covid-shortened 2020 season, and the ensuing 2021 and 2022 seasons, Nico Hulkenberg finally secured a full-time seat on the Formula One grid in 2023, this time at Haas, alongside former rival and now good friend Kevin Magnussen.

In order to get him up to speed quicker in 2023, Haas have entered into an agreement with their engine suppliers Ferrari, to allow the German to make use of their state-of-the-art simulator, established in 2021.

Hulkenberg was certainly impressed at the thought of using the Ferrari simulator, and looks to make the most of the opportunity:

“I'm going to be using it frequently this year, every couple of weeks or so,” he explained. “I think we have a plan to about the middle of the year, and then we'll see.

“I went in the winter once, and I found it quite useful. And yeah, if it's useful, why not use it? It just completes the picture. It's one more detail.”

The 35-year old also expressed delight at the features of the simulator, and its effect on optimum car set-ups and driving styles for a particular racetrack.

“It's a mixture of everything,” he explained. “It's to kind of debrief and work on the correlation, to prepare for [races], to drive development it's always a combination of things.

“It's never or rarely just one [thing], because you have a whole day. So, it's a lot of time you can fill up. And obviously in the sim there are endless possibilities and you can do as much as you want.”

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner also expressed his delight over the deal, and of his driver’s motivation to undertake more training on the simulator.

“We just get a certain number of days, or we buy a certain amount of days, and we have got the same access as last year,” he said when asked by about Hulkenberg’s running.

“I think because he [Hulkenberg] was out of the car and it's a completely new car for him, he's very interested in doing some sim sessions to get prepared better for the race weekend.

“We're doing as much as we think is needed. At the moment we're also doing a little bit more also to see if the simulator has got a good correlation or not.

“As far as the simulator is concerned, you should do it for as long as the driver is interested. If the driver loses interest, there's no point in doing it.

“Because then you just go in there and drive, and you don't learn anything. But at the moment Nico is very motivated to do it.”


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