The long time driver for team Force India, Nico Hulkenberg has called it a quit from the Indian F1 team and decided to join hands with the Renault Sport Formula 1 team. The German driver had raced for the Force India team for five years from 2011 to 2016 in two stints - first from 2011 to 2012 and then from 2014 to 2016, but this will be the last season for Nico in the team.
Nico earlier agreed to stay with Force India till the end of the 2017 season, but Renault pushed the German to be their lead driver from the next season onwards and so, Hulkenberg left his current team a season early. In between the two stints with Force India, Nico Hulkenberg raced with the Sauber F1 team during the 2013 season.
"I’m very happy to join Renault Sport Formula One Team in 2017," Hulkenberg said. "Renault has always been a big player in the motorsport world that brings up incredible memories: in his stint with Renault, Michael Schumacher not only helped make Germany an F1 nation, he also sparked my enthusiasm and fire for racing.
With 54 points earned in the 2016 F1 season, the 29-year-old racer is ninth in the driver's standing, 26 points behind teammate Sergio Perez. Rumors were that Sergio Perez was also in talks with Renault for the next season. But the Mexican quickly refuted the claims and confirmed to stay with the Force India team for the 2017 season.
"As a part of the Renault family, I want to develop the car and write new success stories," Hulkenberg added. "For the remaining races this year, I will give my best for Force India to reach fourth place in the constructors’ championship. This would be a great achievement for the whole Force India team, the biggest success in its history and a great end to a fantastic time there."
Renault team is currently employing Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen as its drivers, but it's not yet clear who will join Nico for the season. Another name among the probable candidates is Manor's Esteban Ocon. An ecstatic Hulkenberg finished his statement saying, “I am grateful that Force India has given me the chance to take up this new opportunity."
"For our next step we required an experienced driver who is still hungry for podiums," said Renault Sport chairman Jerome Stoll. "Nico Hulkenberg fulfils this role perfectly and is an excellent complement to what we want to achieve. He is a highly talented, dedicated and motivated driver. Nico will enable us to harness all the hard work completed this season and translate it to improved results on track in 2017 and beyond. We look forward to seeing him in our new car for 2017."