After winning the GP2 championship in 2009 (and several other feeder-series titles before that), Nico Hulkenberg got his start in F1 with Williams, impressing with a rookie-year pole position but no podium finishes. He spent the following year as a test driver, this time for Force India, and was promoted to the race seat the next year, but spent this past season driving for Sauber. Having been passed over to fill Kimi Raikkonen's seat at Lotus, the highly rated young German is now moving back to Force India in a multi-year deal.
Over the past six seasons since taking over the team from Spyker (which itself had taken over from Jordan), Force India has worked its way up the chain from a perennial back-marker to a solid mid-field contender, even giving some erstwhile leading teams a run for their money. Force India finishedFa this year's championship behind McLaren and Lotus but ahead of Sauber, Toro Rosso and onetime great Williams.
Force India has yet to announce who will partner with him next season, but both its current drivers Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta are tipped to be leaving the team.
Sahara Force India is delighted to confirm that Nico Hulkenberg will return to Sahara Force India in 2014 after agreeing a multi-year deal.
The 26-year-old German is no stranger to Sahara Force India having spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the team. The already strong working relationship will ensure a smooth transition as the team moves into the new era of Formula One™.
Sahara Force India's full 2014 driver line-up will be announced in due course.
Dr Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: "I'm delighted to see Nico back with Sahara Force India. When he drove for us in 2012, it became clear Nico was an exceptional talent and he has continued to impress everyone in the paddock with his strong performances this season. Having Nico in our line-up is a real statement of intent and a huge boost for everyone associated with the team. We have high hopes and expectations for 2014 and by signing Nico we have put ourselves in the best position to achieve those objectives and enjoy what could be our most competitive season yet."
Nico Hulkenberg: "I am happy to come back to Sahara Force India. The team is aiming high for next year and I believe that the experience I have gained over the years will help us achieve those goals. I genuinely believe we can have a competitive package in 2014. I've heard a lot of positive things about the Mercedes engine as well, so I think there is a lot to be excited about for next year. I know this team and I can see their determination; it's a great bunch of people and we all share the same hunger for success."