Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner has shared what really surprised him about Nico Hulkenberg after he returned to the grid.

Steiner was interviewed on the F1 Nation Podcast ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

After five races, Haas sit seventh in the Constructors’ Championship.

Two tenth-place finishes from Kevin Magnussen and a seventh place in Australia have earned the American team eight points.

They’ll be hoping to compete with Alpine and McLaren to finish in the top half this season and should be able to outpace Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri and Williams.

The end of last season saw Haas make a change to their driver line-up.

Two seasons into his spell with the team Mick Schumacher was released and joined Mercedes as a test driver.

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Final Practice
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He was replaced by the more experienced German driver Nico Hulkenberg.

After spending three seasons as Formula 1’s go-to backup driver, the 35-year-old is racing every weekend now.

Guenther Steiner has admitted something about Hulkenberg has really surprised him this season.

The experienced German still has a few tricks up his sleeves.

Steiner surprised by Haas driver Hulkenberg

Asked about his newest driver, Steiner said: “For Nico [Hulkenberg] coming back after three years as a part-time driver, he came back pretty strong.

“I expected him to be strong, but I expected that form to come a little bit later, so I was quite surprised myself that in the beginning, he was this strong.

“I don’t know, have we reached a peak or is there more coming? Obviously, I would be happy if there’s more coming, but I think he’s doing a good job and he’s bringing a good vibe to the team at the moment.

“Everybody likes to work with him. He’s demanding but in a good way, he never demands something just for the sake of it, he always can explain why he wants something.”

F1 Grand Prix of Miami
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Not only has Steiner been surprised by Hulkenberg’s pace, but so has the F1 paddock.

His performances in qualifying have been outstanding, but he’s been let down by the car’s lack of race pace.

Monaco is therefore the perfect track for Hulkenberg to pick up a decent points haul.

It’s so difficult to overtake in Monte Carlo that a strong Saturday should set the German up well this weekend.

A good result could propel Haas into the top half of the Constructors’ Championship.

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