Force India won’t block Hulkenberg promotion


Force India would allow Nico Hulkenberg to leave the team if a "championship-winning" outfit came knocking.

Late last season the German signed a new two-year deal with the midfield team which runs from 2016 to the end of 2017.

But despite the contract, Force India insist they won't stop Hulkenberg from leaving at the end of the upcoming season should one of F1's big boys make an approach for the Le Mans winner.

"Nico signing for another two years was all about continuity from our side, to be able to keep a team together that is obviously now a successful partnership," deputy team principal Bob Fernley told Autosport.

"That's where we want to stay with it, but does that mean if an offer came through from a championship-winning team it wouldn't be considered?

"I'm sure Vijay [Mallya, team principal] would use the same foresight and vision as he did for the Le Mans decision."

He added: "Clearly the podium from Sergio [Perez] was the high point of 2015.

"But I also think we should take into consideration Nico's win in Le Mans as a high point as well. What a great achievement for him.

"I also think he brought recognition to Vijay for having the vision and strength to go against the trend and allow Nico to run."

Fernley continued saying he believes Hulkenberg deserves the opportunity to prove himself with one of Formula 1's big teams by fighting for race victories.

"It would be nice for Nico to be able to progress to what I think his talent deserves and I think a lot of people in the paddock believe that, too.

"But as we know in Formula 1 the opportunities are very limited, so let's just hope one of those opportunities comes for him."