It was today confirmed that Nico Hulkenberg would be returning to Force India for 2014.
The German has been the centre of much attention recently, linked to a possible drive with Lotus. However, a possible sponsor fell through for the Enstone brand meaning they had to side with money over talent and put Pastor Maldonado and his $17 million sponsorship from Venezuelan oil company PDVSA in their car.
With the drive at Lotus gone, there were fears that Hulkenberg, seen by many as one of the most talented drivers on the grid, may not have a drive next season in the age of pay drivers. Today, however, it was confirmed that he would be returning to Force India.
“I’m delighted to see Nico back with Sahara Force India,” Force India team owner Vijay Mallya said. “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.”
“I am happy to come back to Sahara Force India,” Hulkenberg added today. “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’s 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.”
Hulkenberg had a reserve role in Force India in 2011 before being promoted to a race seat alongside Paul di Resta in 2012. Obviously either di Resta or Adrian Sutil are out of the job at Force India now. Rumours suggest that di Resta could go to America to compete in IndyCar, or return to DTM.
Photo courtesy Force India.