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When Adrian Sutil found himself the odd man out in a three-way battle for the Force India seats in 2012, Nico Hulkenberg was handed the opportunity to re-establish his credentials alongside Paul di Resta – and the younger German seized the opportunity with both hands. Although he trailed the Scot early in the season, Hulkenberg came on strong in the second half, capped by fourth place in the Belgian Grand Prix. Five points finishes in the final six races – interrupted only by a DNF in Abu Dhabi – helped lift the German to the fringe of the top ten overall and nearly 20 points clear of his team-mate. Moreover, his late form also propelled the former GP2 Series champion into the speculation over drives at both Ferrari and McLaren, although he eventually plumped for a move to Sauber in 2013.