Force India team boss Vijay Mallya has wished Nico Hulkenberg well after the announcement that he will leave the Silverstone-based outfit at the end of the season.
Sauber confirmed on Wednesday that it has signed the German for 2013
in a move that had been rumoured for some time, leaving Force India with a vacancy for next year.
The move will bring to an end Hulkenberg's two-year stay with Force India and Mallya said he wished the German well for the future.
“It has been a pleasure to have Nico with us for the last couple of years,” he said. “At the end of 2010 we identified him as a star of the future and it has been rewarding to watch him develop his racing skills. Together with Paul he has done a brilliant job for us, helping the team score more points than ever before and giving 100 per cent commitment every weekend.
“We would like to thank him for all his hard work and wish him well for the future. With three races remaining this season, we know Nico will remain totally committed and continue to deliver his best performances for the team.”
Part of the challenge for Hulkenberg will be to help Force India close on Sauber in the constructors' championship, with Mallya insisting that the 23 point gap can be overhauled in the final three races of the year.
“We have 93 points in the bag, but we are still 23 short of Sauber,” he said. “It's a big task to catch them, but anything can happen. We've finished fourth twice and we were very close to a podium in both of those races.
“If we get a bit of luck in the last three races we might be able to make it up. 23 points is not uncatchable.”