Hulkenberg to race for Renault from 2017

Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:34am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - German Formula One driver Nico Hulkenberg will leave Force India and race for Renault in 2017 after signing a multi-year deal with the French manufacturer.

"It has always been my dream to work for a manufacturer team. F1’s new regulations will change the game and give our team a good opportunity," the 2015 Le Mans winner said in a statement on Friday.

"In the years to come, Renault will play a challenger role, which fits my approach to racing 100 percent."

Mercedes-powered Force India are fourth in the championship, ahead of Williams, and Hulkenberg's departure will leave a coveted vacancy.

Renault, who bought the failing Lotus team at the end of last year, are struggling in ninth place but - as former champions with strong resources - can be expected to become far more competitive.

Their engine has powered Red Bull to two victories this season.

"This season has been about putting the foundations in place for future success," said Renault Sport racing chairman Jerome Stoll.

"For our next step we required an experienced driver who is still hungry for podiums. Nico Hulkenberg fulfils this role perfectly and is an excellent complement to what we want to achieve."   Continued...

Hungary Formula One - F1 - Hungarian Grand Prix 2016 - Hungaroring, Hungary - 22/7/16 Force India's Nico Hulkenberg during practice REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh