Force India announces Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg, Abu Dhabi GP 2013

Nico Hulkenberg, Abu Dhabi GP 2013 

 © Active Pictures

As expected, the Force India F1 team has announced that Nico Hulkenberg has signed a multi-year contract to drive for the team starting in 2014.

Hulkenberg has rejoined the the Silverstone based team that he formerly drove for in 2011 and 2012, before joining Sauber for the 2013 season.

Hulkenberg was seen as a likely candidate for the second seat at Lotus, before Pastor Maldonado was signed by the cash strapped team - bringing backing from the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA.

Hulkenberg's contract is believed to be valid for two years, making sure the Silverstone-based team will be compensated should his performances finally attract serious offers from top teams at the end of the 2014 season.

Nico Hulkenberg said, "I am happy to come back to Sahara Force India. The team is aiming high for next year and I believe that the experience I have gained over the years will help us achieve those goals. I genuinely believe we can have a competitive package in 2014. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about the Mercedes engine as well, so I think there is a lot to be excited about for next year. I know this team and I can see their determination; it’s a great bunch of people and we all share the same hunger for success."

Team principal Dr Vijay Mallya said, "I’m delighted to see Nico back with Sahara Force India. 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. Having Nico in our line-up is a real statement of intent and a huge boost for everyone associated with the team. We have high hopes and expectations for 2014 and by signing Nico we have put ourselves in the best position to achieve those objectives and enjoy what could be our most competitive season yet."

Force India has indicated that it will announce their second driver shortly, with the talk currently revolving around Adrian Sutil, Sergio Perez and Max Chilton.

In response to the announcment, Sauber's Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said, “After an overall difficult season in 2013 Nico leaves our team. Especially the first half of the season did not turn out as both parties expected it would. However during the second half of the season we made significant progress together and worked hard to move forward. Nico played an important role in that process. We would like to thank him for his dedication and hard work. Nico has proven to be a fast and efficient driver, who always used the full potential of the C32 in order to score as many championship points as possible. We wish him all the best for his future endeavours.”

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