Nico Hulkenberg says he is delighted to have secured a return to an F1 race seat for the 2012 season after Force India confirmed that the German will partner Paul di Resta next year.
Hulkenberg joined the team as test and reserve driver at the start of 2011 after being dropped by Williams despite a solid debut season, which included pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
Having taken part in a number of Friday practice sessions during the season and impressed the team along the way, the former GP2 title winner will now replace countryman Adrian Sutil in a move that had been expected for some time and he insisted he was delighted to get the chance to return to the grid.
“I'm obviously delighted to be staying with Sahara Force India and to be given the chance to race next year,” he said. “It wasn't easy to watch from the sidelines this season, but I did my best to help the team and show what I was capable of. I'm extremely motivated for 2012 and would like to thank everyone for believing in me and giving me this chance.
“I'm keen to get down to work over the winter to develop our new car and help the team build on this year's achievements. The first test in Jerez can't come soon enough.”