He may have missed out on a move to Ferrari again, but Nico Hulkenberg’s Formula 1 future is secure after he signed a new contract with Force India.
Just weeks after winning the Le Mans 24 Hours, Hulkenberg was strongly linked with a move to Ferrari as a replacement for Kimi Raikkonen, but the Italian team opted to retain the Finn.
There was also speculation that the German was considering a series outside of F1, but those rumors can now be put to bed after he penned a new deal with Force India that will keep him with the Silverstone-based squad for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
“I’m very pleased to finalize and announce my plans for the future,” he said. “I know this team inside out and I feel at home here so it made perfect sense to make a long-term commitment.”
“The progress the team has shown over the last two years has really impressed me and gives me confidence for the future. It’s a great group of people who are hungry for success and want to keep improving year-on-year.”
“I think we have the important things in place going forward and I want to continue growing with this team as we move even further up the grid.”
Team principal Vijay Mallya believes Hulkenberg can help them to achieve “some great results” in the future.
“I make no secret of being one of Nico’s biggest fans and so it’s fantastic to confirm him as our driver for the next couple of seasons,” he said. “He has spent almost four years with us already and in that time we’ve seen him develop into one of the best racing drivers in the world. Nico has the speed, the technical knowledge and the maturity to help us achieve some great results in the years ahead. We will do everything we can to continue delivering a car to match his talent.”
Whilst it is good that he knows he is employed for the next two years, Force India won’t get him at the front of the pack.