Haas reportedly blocked Hulkenberg move to replace Zhou at Alfa


Haas team boss Guenther Steiner reportedly blocked Alfa Romeo/Sauber's request to sign up Nico Hulkenberg as Zhou Gunyu's replacement at the Swiss outfit.

According to a report from Blick by veteran Swiss F1 journalist Roger Benoit, the Sauber-run team was keen on bringing Hulkenberg back to Hinwil as Valtteri Bottas' teammate for 2024.

The German driver is well acquainted with the Alfa Romeo/Sauber, having raced for the team during his third season in F1 in 2013.

According to Blick, "heated discussions and arguments" took place behind the scenes at Sauber over the summer as the team pondered its options for next season regarding its driver line-up.

Bottas and Zhou, who have both done a competent job this season in light of their car's subdued level of performance, were reportedly considered as being too perfectly matched, with a lack of rivalry and emulation failing to spur on the pair.

While Sauber was keen on seeing Hulkenberg replace Zhou, Benoit contends that even Bottas' position was questioned within the team.

But terminating the Finn's contract, which runs until the end of 2024, would have been too expensive.

The report also claims that 2022 FIA Formula 2 Champion and current Aston Martin reserve Felipe Drugovich was also short-listed by the team.

But the team's "lack of courage" allegedly dissuaded it from shaking up its line-up according to the report.

Ahead of this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo F1 confirmed that it will entrust it cars once again next season to Bottas and Zhou.

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