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F1 US GP: Nico Hulkenberg leaves Force India

Nico Hulkenberg will leave the Force India F1 team at the end of the 2016 Formula 1 season, it has been confirmed.
Force India has confirmed Nico Hulkenberg is to leave its team at the end of the 2016 Formula 1 season, paving the way for his anticipated switch to Renault.

The German driver had been expected initially to remain with Force India for the 2017 season before emerging as a candidate to join Renault next season after French firm failed in its bid to lure his team-mate Sergio Perez.

Though Renault's own confirmation is pending, Force India's decision to announce Hulkenberg's exit at the end of the season is makes it a formality.

A former Williams and Sauber driver, Hulkenberg initially joined Force India for a single season in 2012 before returning in 2014 at the start of the V6 Hybrid era. Since then, Hulkenberg has always finished inside the overall drivers' top ten, though is now one of the longest-serving F1 drivers (111 starts) yet to stand on the podium.

“Everybody at Sahara Force India wishes Nico well as he embarks upon a different path in Formula One,” said Force India team principal Vijay Mallya. “Having spent five years with us, Nico has become a great friend and contributed a huge amount to the team's success. He's an outstanding driver, who has scored more points for this team than anybody else.

“While it's true we will miss Nico, we respect his decision to explore fresh opportunities and it would be wrong to stand in his way.”

With Hulkenberg expected to be joined by young Frenchman Esteban Ocon at Renault, Pascal Wehrlein is the favourite to join Perez at Force India, the Mercedes-backed driver having previously tested with the team.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
08.10.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 with fans.
08.10.2016 - Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
07.10.2016 - Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
07.10.2016 - Free Practice 2, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
01.10.2016 - Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
09.10.2016 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Daniel Ricciardo tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

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benignlyindifferent

October 14, 2016 11:30 AM

We cannot doubt Renault's commitment, despite comments to the contrary. They have dramatically improved their engine and they are building a technical team that will be the equal of other top teams in a year or two. Next year's rules will shake things up a bit and Renault might start the year with a Hulk and Bottas combo. Not too bad for the end of their first year back in the sport.

Tomco

October 14, 2016 10:35 AM

Not sure. Hes never really produced any outstanding performances other than weather affected ones. Perez has almost won a couple of races but I stand to be corrected with the Hulk and hope he can do really well at Renault.



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