Sergio Perez - Esteban Ocon
What was a slightly strange situation became a surprising one at Force India, with Hulkenberg being released from his contract to join Renault in 2017. Hulkenberg was believed to be the stable one, with Perez's future growing uncertain despite having a contract in place.
Eventually deals with the Mexican's sponsors secured Perez's seat, but attention turned to who his new team-mate would be, with the Mercedes-backed Manor drivers top of the list. Eventually it was Ocon who got the nod, with his approach outside of the car noted as a deciding factor compared to Wehrlein.