Nico Hulkenberg returns to Force India

Nico Hulkenberg is back at Force India after spending the 2013 Formula One season with Sauber

Story highlights

  • German Formula One driver Nico Hulkenberg returns to Force India
  • Hulkenberg spent two seasons with the team before leaving for Sauber
  • The 26-year-old has agreed a 'multi-year deal' with his old team

The Formula One driver merry-go-round continues apace with the news that Nico Hulkenberg is back at Force India after spending just a solitary season at Sauber.

The German has signed a "multi-year deal" with his former marque, having spent 2011 and 2012 with the Indian-owned outfit.

Hulkenberg finished tenth in the 2013 drivers' championship for Sauber, higher than both Force India's racers Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil, who are yet to settle their futures for next season.

Also currently without a seat are Sergio Perez, who was released by McLaren, Hulkenberg's former Sauber teammate Esteban Gutierrez, Marussia's British driver Max Chilton and Caterham pairing Charles Pic and Giedo Van Der Garde.

Read: Maldonado and Grosjean pair up for Lotus

Hulkenberg, who was thought to be in contention for a seat at Lotus before they signed Pastor Maldonado, told Force India's official website: "I am happy to come back to 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.

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"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."

Force India said they would make an announcement on their other driver in due course, with Di Resta and Sutil both sweating on their futures.

Part of the issue is a change in the way drivers are funded, with many expected to find financial backing in order to contribute towards their own drives during the season.

A major rule change looms large in 2014 and that means the 11 teams are having their resources stretched, with the new turbo engines alone estimated to be three times more expensive than the ones being phased out.

Force India team principal Dr Vijay Mallya said he was delighted to have Hulkenberg back in his ranks.

"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," he said.

"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."