Hülken­berg to stay at Force In­dia

F1 Racing - - F1 INSIDER -

The mid­field driver line-ups be­gin to take shape, although JEV’s For­mula 1 fu­ture ap­pears shaky

Nico Hülken­berg will con­tinue to race for Force In­dia in 2015 after again fail­ing to se­cure a pro­mo­tion to a lead­ing team.

The conrma­tion came de­spite pres­sure from some quarters for Force In­dia to take on Jean-Eric Vergne, with a nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion from Red Bull. That move would have given them a net gain of sev­eral mil­lion a year, tak­ing into ac­count Hülken­berg’s re­puted $4m salary.

Force In­dia team prin­ci­pal Vi­jay Mallya said: “We rate Nico very highly and he has done a tremen­dous job this year by con­sis­tently pick­ing up cru­cial cham­pi­onship points. We know him ex­tremely well: he’s a true racer and he knows how to mo­ti­vate the team. I am con­vinced he is one of the best tal­ents on the grid.”

Hülken­berg is thought to have an ar­range­ment with Fer­rari, al­low­ing them to sign him if they wish, but they snapped up Vet­tel as a re­place­ment for the de­part­ing Alonso.

Force In­dia are also ex­pected to re­tain Ser­gio Pérez in 2015. Pérez, who moved to Force In­dia after one sea­son at McLaren, has bol­stered his rep­u­ta­tion by beat­ing Hülken­berg in nu­mer­ous races this sea­son.

Else­where, Cater­ham refugee Mar­cus Eric­s­son has been signed up by Sauber for 2015, although it re­mains un­clear who he will re­place. Adrian Su­til, who has had a lack­lus­tre sea­son, brings only a re­puted 5m with him, but claims to have a rm con­tract. Este­ban Gu­tiér­rez, who is evenly matched with Su­til, has more sub­stan­tial back­ing from his na­tive Mex­ico, plus the prospect of a race in his home coun­try next sea­son. Cur­rent Sauber re­serve driver Giedo Van Der Garde has also been linked to a race seat.

Toro Rosso have yet to an­nounce who will part­ner Max Ver­stap­pen. The likely con­tenders are For­mula Re­nault 3.5 cham­pion Car­los Sainz Jr and GP3 Se­ries ace Alex Lynn. Vergne is not be­lieved to be in with a chance.

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