The 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and guy who probably deserves a better Formula One drive Nico Hülkenberg will move from Force India to Renault in 2017. Renault’s struggling team currently sits in ninth place out of eleven teams in the constructors’ championship, but, at least they’re a works team?
Today, Renault Sport announced that Hülkenberg signed on to a multiple-year deal with the team. 2017 will be the second year of Renault’s return as a manufacturer team after the marque repurchased the old Renault team, which was running as Lotus.
Renault desperately needs better results, and they’re looking to upgrade the nuts behind the wheel accordingly. While Renault has not confirmed any specifics, rumors place Hülkenberg’s contract at $19.8 million for a two-year deal with the option to renew in 2019, according to GrandPrix.com.
Hülkenberg is optimistic about his mid-field shakeup, saying in Renault’s press release:
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.
Much is changing with the 2017 F1 cars, and we’re also hoping that more than one team nails next year’s set of rules—just for our own sanity’s sake.
Hülkenberg is 29 and has completed in 111 F1 grands prix, yet has never been able to score a podium. Hopefully this Renault deal doesn’t make him wish he’d held out for Webber’s now-empty seat with the Porsche 919 Le Mans squad instead.