UPDATED: Nico Hulkenberg Renault move 'agreed'

Published on 14 Oct 2016 11:35
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UPDATED 11:35 CEST: Force India have released a statement confirming that Nico Hulkenberg will be leaving the team.

"Everybody at Sahara Force India wishes Nico well as he embarks upon a different path in Formula One. Having spent five years with us, Nico has become a great friend and contributed a huge amount to the team’s success. He’s an outstanding driver, who has scored more points for this team than anybody else. While it’s true we will miss Nico, we respect his decision to explore fresh opportunities and it would be wrong to stand in his way." - Team principal Vijay Mallya

 

Nico Hulkenberg will drive for Renault in 2017.

That is the claim of Autosport, who have said that the German has inked a two year deal with the team, with an option of a third.

Hulkenberg has been linked with a move to Renault for quite some time but speculation has ramped up in the last week, after his Force India team mate Sergio Perez confirmed he would not be switching teams.

Curiously, Hulkenberg decided to share a screenshot from Bild, showing football fixtures and a link to a story about him moving to Renault.

The decision to sign Hulkenberg leaves Renault with one unconfirmed seat for 2017 with Esteban Ocon, and current drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer in the frame.

Despite Ocon seemingly being the favourite for the seat, Renault are thought to have entered negotiations with Valtteri Bottas, who is still waiting for Williams to take up their contract option on him.

That would leave either Ocon or Manor team mate Pascal Wehrlein in pole position to land Hulkenberg's vacant Force India seat as both are backed by their engine supplier Mercedes.

However, if Bottas leaves Williams, that would also leave a seat there alongside Lance Stroll who is expected to be announced as the replacement for the retiring Felipe Massa. Williams is also a Mercedes customer team.



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