Sahara Force India has signed Formula 1 driver Nico Hulkenberg to a multi-year contract starting with the 2014 season, according to the team. Force India made the formal announcement on Tuesday, December 3.
The contract signals a return of Mr. Hulkenberg to the team he drove for in the 2011 and 2012 seasons. In 2013, he raced for Sauber-Ferrari, scoring 51 points and coming in tenth in the Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship, according to Formula 1.
About the deal, the 26-year-old German said, "I am happy to come back to Sahara Force India. The team is aiming high for next year and I believe that the experience I have gained over the years will help us achieve those goals. I genuinely believe we can have a competitive package in 2014. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about the Mercedes engine as well, so I think there is a lot to be excited about for next year. I know this team and I can see their determination; it’s a great bunch of people and we all share the same hunger for success."
Sahara Force India Team Principal and Managing Director, Dr. Vijay Mallya said, "I’m delighted to see Nico back with Sahara Force India. When he drove for us in 2012, it became clear Nico was an exceptional talent and he has continued to impress everyone in the paddock with his strong performances this season. Having Nico in our line-up is a real statement of intent and a huge boost for everyone associated with the team. We have high hopes and expectations for 2014 and by signing Nico we have put ourselves in the best position to achieve those objectives and enjoy what could be our most competitive season yet."
According to Formula 1, Mr. Hulkenberg has yet to stand on the podium in the series, and qualified for pole position once, at the 2010 rainy Brazilian Grand Prix. He has scored 136 career points out of the 58 Grands Prix he has entered.
Force India says it will announce the full slate of its 2014 team "in due course."
The 2014 Formula 1 season begins with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 16.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. With an experienced historic racer from upstate New York, she is working on a new book about racers and racing.