Nico Hulkenberg has joined the Renault Sport Formula 1 team on a multi-year deal, the French manufacturer confirmed on Friday.

The German driver had agreed to stay with Force India until the end of the 2017 season in September of last year, but a push from Renault to hire him as its leading driver for next season has convinced Hulkenberg to leave his current team.

Hulkenberg has spent five years at Force India in two stints, first from 2011 to 2012, and then from 2014 to 2016, having raced with Sauber during the 2013 season.

The 29-year-old is currently ninth in the standings with 54 points, 26 behind teammate Sergio Perez.

The Mexican had also been linked with the Renault drive before he confirmed he would stay at Force India in 2017.

"I’m very happy to join Renault Sport Formula One Team in 2017," Hulkenberg said.

"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.

"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."

The identity of Hulkenberg's teammate is yet to be revealed.

Current drivers Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen are among the candidates for the second seat, but it is understood that so is Manor's Esteban Ocon.

"For our next step we required an experienced driver who is still hungry for podiums," said Renault Sport chairman Jerome Stoll.

"Nico Hulkenberg fulfils this role perfectly and is an excellent complement to what we want to achieve. He is a highly talented, dedicated and motivated driver.

"Nico will enable us to harness all the hard work completed this season and translate it to improved results on track in 2017 and beyond. We look forward to seeing him in our new car for 2017."


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