Nico Hulkenberg has vowed to spend much more time at Maranello this year.
Some years ago, amid Fernando Alonso’s difficult relationship with Ferrari, Hulkenberg almost signed on the dotted line of a plum Ferrari deal.
“I don’t know,” the 35-year-old German now says when asked what went wrong. “It just didn’t happen.”
But Hulkenberg did ultimately make the trip to Maranello. As part of Haas’ technical relationship with Ferrari, the F1 returnee spent a full day in the fabled Italian team’s driver simulator.
“I’m going to use it a lot more this year – every few weeks or so,” he told formel1.de in Jeddah.
“I think we have a plan until the middle of the year and then we’ll see,” Hulkenberg revealed.
“I went there in the winter and found it quite useful, so why not use it? It completes the picture.”
On his return to F1 after a full-time three-year break, Hulkenberg actually looked better at the wheel of the 2023 Haas than his incumbent teammate Kevin Magnussen.
But he admits that having the pre-season test at the same Bahrain circuit helped him to enjoy a smooth return to the sport.
“This is much more difficult,” Hulkenberg said at the challenging, high speed Jeddah street circuit, which held its first Saudi Arabian GP in 2021.
“I come here as prepared as I can, which is partly why I was in the simulator in the past week – going through different options and filtering things out.”