Hulkenberg agrees Renault deal - reports

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Nico Hulkenberg has agreed a multi-year contract with Renault from 2017, according to multiple reports.

The German was linked with a move to Enstone last weekend, with Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley suggesting to F1i the team would not stand in Hulkenberg's way despite him having a contract for next season.

Reports in both Germany and the UK suggest Hulkenberg has now agreed a two-year contract with an option for a further year at Renault, with his final release from Force India still to be agreed. Given Fernley's quotes, this should be relatively straightforward. Hulkenberg himself playfully retweeted one of the reports, referencing a sports page but ignoring the headline regarding his new contract.

Prior to targeting Hulkenberg, Renault was also linked with Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas as it wants an experienced driver to lead its recovery following a difficult first year back in F1 after the takeover of Lotus.

Hulkenberg started his career with Williams in 2010 and has been at Force India for four of the past five seasons, moving to Sauber for a year in 2013. Despite 111 race starts, the 2015 Le Mans winner - who has one pole position to his name - has yet to finish on the podium.

Such a move will leave Renault with one vacant race seat for 2017, with Esteban Ocon having been favourite for one of the seats. However, with a Mercedes-powered team now also with a vacancy, both Ocon and Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein will feature near the top of Force India's list having previously tested for the team.

Renault is believed to also still be considering current race drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer for its 2017 line-up, and both drivers are likely to target Force India should they lose their current seat.


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