Swiss Formula 1 correspondent Roger Benoit believes that Nico Hulkenberg has signed a contract with Force India.
For over a month now there has been much speculation involving the German and the team he departed last year. Many pundits, including BBC’s Eddie Jordan, have revealed deals which have been in place between the two parties, but these have all collapsed. Perhaps this suggests that this latest rumour should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Writing for Blick, Benoit believes that Nico Hulkenberg is indeed returning to Force India. The team previously rescued his career after he was dropped by Williams at the end of 2010 after a single season.
Although the details of the contract have not been confirmed, Benoit’s understanding is that the team have to pay the German driver what they owe him from 2012, and also pay an advance on his €1.9m fee for 2014.
Benoit quotes the German as saying: “Don’t worry, I will have a seat next year.”
It has not been announced who Hulkenberg is rumoured to be replacing at Force India. Many believe that Paul di Resta is on his way out after an average three seasons with the team. Although he has scored the majority of the team’s points this season, it is thought the Scottish driver may be looking towards IndyCar in the future.
Force India may be better to replace Adrian Sutil. The German driver has been with the team since its Midland days and has arguably achieved little success. He has scored a similar amount of points as di Resta, but has started almost twice the number of races.
Hulkenberg is famously waiting for the Lotus Quantum deal to be sorted before he is confirmed there. However, the deal has dragged, and the prospect of him returning to Force India or staying at Sauber for a second season is looking more likely.
This would leave the door open for PDVSA backed Pastor Maldonado to move to Lotus, a move which may be necessary for the Enstone-based team in order to secure their financial future.
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