F1: Nico Hulkenberg rejoins Force India on a multi-year contract just a year after leaving the team for Sauber

Hulkenberg had been linked with drives at Ferrari and Lotus but returns to his former team for next season

Nico Hulkenberg has agreed a multi-year deal to return to Force India next season.

The 26-year-old German returns to Force India after a year at Sauber, where he finished 10th in the drivers' standings.

"I am happy to come back to Sahara Force India," he said in a statement.

"The team is aiming high for next year and I believe that the experience I have gained over the years will help us achieve those goals.

"I genuinely believe we can have a competitive package in 2014.

"I've heard a lot of positive things about the Mercedes engine as well, so I think there is a lot to be excited about for next year.

"I know this team and I can see their determination; it's a great bunch of people and we all share the same hunger for success."

Team principal and managing director Dr Vijay Mallya described Hulkenberg's arrival as a "statement of intent" ahead of a season in which Formula One will undergo several changes.

"I'm delighted to see Nico back with Sahara Force India," he said.

"When he drove for us in 2012, it became clear Nico was an exceptional talent and he has continued to impress everyone in the paddock with his strong performances this season.

"Having Nico in our line-up is a real statement of intent and a huge boost for everyone associated with the team.

"We have high hopes and expectations for 2014 and by signing Nico we have put ourselves in the best position to achieve those objectives and enjoy what could be our most competitive season yet."

Hulkenberg's signature confirms one half of Force India's line-up for next season, with the marque still to decide who will partner him.

Scotland's Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil drove for the team last season and while they could yet be retained, Sergio Perez has also been mooted as a possible replacement.

"From all the names that are out there I can work with any one," Hulkenberg told Sky Sports news.

"It doesn't really matter for me. I want a strong team-mate and one that is challenging me. I know there are a few names around but it is not my decision.

"I'm sure it won't be long before we know."

PA

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