Renault has confirmed Nico Hulkenberg will join team for the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship.
Anticipated after Force India revealed the German driver will exit its team at the end of the season, Hulkenberg will join on a 'multi-year' deal believed to be for three years to keep the German at the team until 2019.
Renault returned to the sport as a fully-fledged constructor at the start of the 2016 season but its relatively late takeover of Lotus has contributed to a struggle for results on track.
FEATURE: Mark Webber's most spectacular racing moment
Nevertheless, following a restructure behind the scenes and a change of technical regulation coming in 2017, Renault is identified as the team with potentially most to gain in the coming years.
Renault Sport Racing President Jerome Stoll feels the team has secured an 'experienced driver' to takes up the role desired by the French squad.
"2017 will be the second Renault Group season since returning as a constructor in F1 and the next stage of our journey. This year was dedicated to laying the foundations for our future success,” Stoll said. “We needed an experienced driver, always hungry for podiums.
“Nico Hulkenberg perfectly fulfills this role and ideally complements what we want to achieve. He's very talented, dedicated and motivated. Nico will allow us to exploit all the work this season and to translate it into better results on the track in 2017 and beyond. We look forward to see our new car in 2017."
The announcement leaves current Renault drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer battling for the final seat for the 2017 season, while the team is also rumoured to be interested in taking on reserve driver Esteban Ocon after the French driver impressed stepping in at Manor midway through this year.
Hulkenberg has paid tribute to Force India for allowing him to join Renault for 2017 and is thrilled to join a factory squad for the first time in his F1 career.
"I am delighted to join Renault Sport Formula One Team in 2017," Hulkenberg said. "Renault has always been a major player in the world of motorsport and reminds me of amazing memories. With Renault, Michael Schumacher has not only made Germany a nation of F1, but he also aroused my enthusiasm and my love of running. As part of the Renault family, I want to develop the car and write new pages of success."
READ: Force India confirm Nico Hulkenberg's depature
"It has always been my dream to drive for an official manufacturer. The new regulations F1 will change the situation and provide an opportunity for our team. In the coming years, Renault will be in the role of challenger corresponding to 100% in my approach to the race. I look forward to integrating this family.
"By end of this season, I will give everything to enable Force India to reach fourth place in the Constructors' Championship. It would be a great achievement for the whole team Force India, the greatest success in its history and a wonderful end to our adventure.
"I am grateful to Force India that offers me the opportunity to seize this new opportunity."
Latest Tweets from Crash.net & GPF1rst