SILVERSTONE, U.K. — official team release — Mark Thompson/Getty Images Europe photo —
Nico Hulkenberg has agreed to and signed a two-year contract extension with Sahara Force India, keeping him with the team until at least the end of the 2017 season.
The German’s future was highly speculated throughout the summer, with his name tossed around as a possibility for both the new Haas F1 Team and a full program in the World Endurance Championship with Porsche, with whom he won this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Hulkenberg, however, said his knowledge of Force India, and his belief in their long-term future, made extending his current deal the obvious choice.
“I’m very pleased to finalise 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.”
“I make no secret of being one of Nico’s biggest fans, so it’s fantastic to confirm him as our driver for the next couple of seasons,” added Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director for Sahara Force India. “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.”
Hulkenberg came to Force India as their reserve driver in 2011, graduating to a full-time seat ahead of the 2012 campaign. While he spent the 2013 F1 season with the Sauber outfit, he rejoined Force India for 2014 and has remained there ever since. His best finish for the team was a fourth place effort in the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix despite leading two Grands Prix in Force India colors, most recently in Brazil last year.
CREDIT: Force India