Origins of the Magnussen vs Hulkenberg feud

Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen pair up at Haas for the 2023 F1 season


Nico Hulkenberg‘s signing for Haas to complete their 2023 driver lineup alongside Kevin Magnussen came as a to some fans, considering the pair’s difficult past.

The pair have both been handed F1 lifelines by Haas after Magnussen was ditched in 2020 and Hulkenberg had three years without a full-time seat, but one thing that stands in the way of a harmonious season is a foul-mouth feud that erupted in 2017.

Both drivers have said they’re past it and there’s no hard feelings between the pair, and it could even become a running joke between them.

However, Haas is a team with a history of combustible relationships between drivers and team principal Guenther Steiner so fans will certainly be watching the team closely.

Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg with Haas in 2023 | Haas F1 Team

“Suck my balls”

The immortal words were uttered at the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix, after an on-track battle between the pair that riled Hulkenberg up the wrong way.

The German was driving for Renault at the time, while Magnussen – the driver whole Hulkenberg replaced in Enstone – was on his first stint at Haas.

Hulkenberg went to overtake his competitor around the outside of turn three at the Hungaroring, but Magnussen used the full width of the track to force Hulkenberg off the track and onto the grass.

Otherwise, it was an afternoon to forget for both drivers, as Magnussen was handed a five-second penalty and finished in 13th, and Hulkenberg retired on the penultimate lap with a brake issue.

Interrupting Magnussen‘s post-race interview, Hulkenberg said: “Once again, the most unsporting driver on the grid.”

It was the Haas driver who stole the show with his response though. Magnussen said: “Suck my balls mate.”

Do Magnussen and Hulkenberg still hate each other?

The pair do seem to have kissed and made up though. With both of their F1 careers on the line, neither driver can afford to waste energy on feuds.

“I expect to have a good relationship,” Hulkenberg told the press in 2022. “We’ve cleared that incident and broken the ice at the beginning of this year, actually.

“I said hello to him with his exact same words from 2017, and he found that quite funny and amusing.

“I have absolutely no worries working and racing alongside him, we’re both grown-up adults, we respect each other, and we’ll race for the team. So no problems whatsoever.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for and in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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