Hulkenberg stays with Force India

We were just talking about Nico Hulkenberg on last night’s podcast and the thought of him leaving Force India to join Haas F1. As I posited last night, would Nico take the risk to go to an unproven team who has never turned a wheel in anger or stay at a team he knows with top-6 performance? The answer is revealed:

“I’m very pleased to finalise and announce my plans for the future.

“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.”

Nico has extended his role as Force India’s driver for two years. I said in the podcast that if I were Nico, the only way I would leave Force India would be if Haas F1 offered a long-term contract, something like three years with a get out of jail card in case I got a better offer. As it is, I think he made the right choice for 2016.

Haas F1 will have some teeth-cutting to do in 2016 and Force India are running well. In the end, Haas F1 may have been a bit of a gamble given Force India’s good performance (although Grace isn’t that impressed).

The other option I though of was Nico moving to take Pastor’s seat when/if Renault takes over the Lotus F1 team. That would be an interesting move if the team could get the engine sorted.

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xorpheous

Well that’s disappointing. I’m sure Steve is happy that The Hulk remains with FI, but I was really hoping for someone of his caliber signing up for Haas.

Tom Firth

I was hoping he was going to switch to race for Porsche, and the team was going to run three cars full season. Damn.

O well, still glad he’s in F1 and got a drive.

Negative Camber

My hunch is that his contract will allow for a LM24 ride at Porsche and the the German company would do well to retain his services. :)

Tom Firth

Indeed. All indications are he will do LM24 next year. Was with Porsche at the Nurburgring as a guest this weekend.

jakobusvdl

Nice name drop Tom ;-) Porsche, Nurburgring, Guest, ga-ching!
I think that is the full trifector, sounds like a great weekend, and the inside line on ‘da Hulk’ – I’m assuming that the opportunity to drive the WEC races would be a big factor in Hulkenberg chosing to stay with Force India.
He also likes to name drop Porsche, Nurburgring, Driver, GA-CHING!!!!!!! ;-)

Tom Firth

Heh, I think you get the wrong impression, I wasn’t in Germany, but man, I wish I had the inside line and was with Porsche at the weekend! No I was watching the TV broadcast on Sunday and Nico was in the garage at the Nurburgring as a guest of Porsche. Putting two and two together and getting five, but the commentary since Le Mans from those on the inside, has all pointed towards Nico being back at Le Mans in ’16. I was hoping it was more though. I can’t take credit for this information. I just got it… Read more »

jakobusvdl

Ooops, I got the wrong end of the stick on your original post Tom. I like to think you lead a very glamorous life.
Hopefully a factor in Nico H staying with FI is that they will let him do more with Porsche in WEC.
Also if VJ Mallya gets his legal problems sorted out, maybe FI will go backto giant killing ways…….

jakobusvdl

Pastor might be looking for a seat if Renault buy Lotus ;-)

Paul KieferJr

Thus endeth the Silly Season.

Tom Firth

Not quite, still need to decide who drives for Haas & Manor
Confirm who drives for Lotus (Renault) & Potentially Mclaren.

It does seem like Status Quo will be kept pretty much throughout but don’t say for sure. O and of course Sauber have yet to sign it’s 4th .. or 5th driver.

charlie white

So Nico is stuck in F1 purgatory. I had hoped he would just bolt F1 and keep a full time ride at the Porsche WEC team.