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Huelkenberg leaves Force India F1 team

dpadpa 14/10/2016

Nico Huelkenberg has been released from his contract at Formula One team Force India, with a drive at Renault reported to be his new destination.

Force India said on Friday they are releasing Nico Huelkenberg out of his contract after the Formula One season, with the German driver now set to to join the Renault team.

Renault are yet to confirm the signing of Huelkenberg, but the website and Germany's Bild paper said the 29-year-old has signed a two-year contract for 2017 and 2018, with an option for a third season.

"Everybody at Sahara Force India wishes Nico well as he embarks upon a different path in Formula One," Force India team principal Vijay Mallya said in a short statement.

"He's an outstanding driver, who has scored more points for this team than anybody else. While it's true we will miss Nico, we respect his decision to explore fresh opportunities and it would be wrong to stand in his way."

Huelkenberg has spent five seasons at Force India, the first one in 2011 as reserve driver. He started 2010 at Williams and spent 2013 at Sauber before returning to Force India in 2014 with an original contract until 2017.

He has competed in 111 grands prix, with one pole position but no podium finishes. He currently ranks ninth in the championship, behind teammate Sergio Perez.

Renault are looking for an experienced driver to lead their works team as they are not fully satisfied with the current line-up of Denmark's Kevin Magnussen and Briton Jolyon Palmer. German Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein is meanwhile a candidate to take Huelkenberg's place at Force India.

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