Time to go, Nico!

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FAREWELL: Nico Hulkenberg will race for Renault next year as Sergio Perez prepares to welcome new partner

FAREWELL: Nico Hulkenberg will race for Renault next year as Sergio Perez prepares to welcome new partner

Hulkenberg targets success stories as he joins Renault

After back-to-back record breaking seasons, Force India’s team of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez is splitting with the prior, jumping ship to join Renault.

The 29-year-old German has enjoyed three years with the constructors, helping to steer them up the  table from sixth to a current fourth place position.

With just two races to go, speculation as to who will replace Hulkenberg next year has already begun, with 22-year-old Manor driver, Pascal Wehrlein, amongst the favourites.

With only one point to his name throughout his Formula One career, it may be a risky move in some people’s eyes, yet the young German has been singled out previously by both Mercedes and Force India for test driving.

Force India’s deputy principal, Bob Fernley, said: “It’s (co-owner and principal) Vijay (Mallya)’s decision and we’ll start those discussions probably when we get back next week.

“I think we’ll take our time, have a look at what offers are on the table, Vijay will make his decision and then we’ll announce it.”

Pressed further, he said it could be ‘next week or the week after or even the week after that’.

In a statement released upon joining Renault, Hulkenberg said he was excited to be joining a full works outfit in Formula One.

He said: “I’m very happy to join Renault Sport Formula 1 Team in 2017. Renault has always been a big player in the motorsport world that brings up incredible memories: in his stint with Renault, Michael Schumacher not only helped make Germany an F1 nation, he also sparked my enthusiasm and fire for racing.

“As a part of the Renault family, I want to develop the car and write new success stories.

“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. In the years to come, Renault will play a challenger role, which fits my approach to racing 100 per cent. I can’t wait to become part of the family.”

On his experience of driving for Force India, he added: “For the remaining races this year, I will give my best for Force India to reach fourth place in the constructors’ championship. This would be a great achievement for the whole Force India team, the biggest success in its history and a great end to a fantastic time there.

“I am grateful that Force India has given me the chance to take up this new opportunity.”

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