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Nico Hulkenberg extends contract with Force India

01 Sep 2015

Nico Hulkenberg has agreed a two-year contract extension with Force India, tying him to the team until at least the end of the 2017 season.

The German's future had been the subject of widespread media speculation over the summer, with his name being linked to newcomers Haas and also to a full programme in the World Endurance Championship with Porsche, with whom he won the Le Mans 24 Hours this year.

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."

Force India team principal and managing director Vijay Mallya hailed the announcement, adding: "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 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 first joined Force India as their reserve driver in 2011, before graduating to a full-time seat the following season. After a one-year hiatus at Sauber, he rejoined the squad ahead of their 2014 campaign. His best result for the team remains the fourth place he scored in Belgium in 2012, although he has led two Grands Prix in Force India colours, most recently in Brazil last year.

Hulkenberg's deal is the first move in the driver market since last month's news that Kimi Raikkonen has agreed a one-year extension with Ferrari.