Force India the best option for Hulkenberg, signs multi-year deal

© F1 Pulse, 3 December 2013
© Force India
© Force India/F1 Pulse

Nico Hulkenberg will return to Force India next season with a multi-year deal securing the future of the German in Formula 1 and providing him a stable platform to enhance his career.

The 26-year-old was nearly left without a seat for 2014 after the promising Lotus drive disappeared amid a financial tangle and Sauber continuing to struggle as well. But he is now set to return to familiar territory where he spent two seasons, one of which was as a test driver.

"I had to take a decision about my future, not to be left out or left without a seat and at Force India, I really felt they wanted me," Hulkenberg said.

With Sauber this season, Hulkenberg finished a strong tenth in the drivers' championship with 51 points, 44 of which were scored in the last eight races.

Force India team principal Vijay Mallya has been in contact with Hulkenberg since the Malaysian GP in March and believes sealing the return of the German puts the team "in the best position to achieve those objectives and enjoy what could be our most competitive season yet."

"When he drove for us in 2012, it became clear Nico was an exceptional talent and he has continued to impress everyone in the paddock with his strong performances this season," Mallya said.

The partnership offers a lot of promise as Force India has emerged as the strongest mid-field team in the last four years. It also nearly challenged McLaren for fifth place in the constructors’ championship this season.

Hulkenberg will also be reunited with Tom McCullough, who was his race engineer in 2010 at Williams and the head of track engineering at Sauber last year.

TEAMMATE STILL PENDING

© F1 Pulse

Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil were the drivers for Force India this season, but neither is sure of staying on for 2014. Sergio Perez, who has lost his place at McLaren to Kevin Magnussen, is also expected to move to Force India.

The team, however, said that the identity of Hulkenberg’s teammate “will be announced in due course.”

"It doesn't matter for me, I want to have a strong teammate who is challenging me and I can challenge him so we can push the team forward," Hulkenberg said. "I know there are a few names around in the press but it's not my decision."

 

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