Nico Hulkenburg has commented that Force India’s recovery throughout the 2015 season has influenced him to agree a new contract deal with the team.
Force India announced on Tuesday that Hulkenburg had agreed a new two year deal until the end of 2017, diminishing rumours about the German’s future.
Hulkenburg had a chance to talk to an NBCSN reporter after the announcement had been made, and told him of his happiness for the new deal.
“I feel really comfortable at Force India,” Hulkenberg commented. “I’ve been with them now for many, many years. It’s basically like my family by now.
“I have big faith and trust in the team and I think that from where we are now, we can get even stronger and build on the foundations that we’ve built up so far in the past few years and become even more competitive and go for bigger results. I see that potential in the team and that drove me to remain with Force India in the future.”
An uncertain financial position in late 2014 led to a difficult winter for the team, resulting in the fact that the 2015 car could only drive at the Barcelona pre-season test, meaning that it only had two full days of running before the first race of the season.
In the first half of the 2015 season the team used an A-spec car, and were still competitive before introducing their B-spec version of the car at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix in July. After the B-spec car was released, Hulkenburg and team-mate Sergio Perez have put in some competitive times, meaning that at Spa, Perez came in with a brilliant 5th place, the best of the season.
Hulkenburg reported that the team’s recovery since winter 2014 was one of the things that persuaded him to remain with the team for the next two years.
“Yes, I think you have to give credit to the team and how the team has run,” he said.
“We had not the easiest winter, but we’ve overcome that and done very well even with a not-so-great and not-so-competitive car, and now since we’ve had those updates, things have really turned around and brightened up. We can really feel it inside the car. The atmosphere is very upbeat and very positive in the team right now, so it’s good fun to work with them.”
Hulkenberg had also been linked with possible transitions to Ferrari, Williams and even the new Haas F1 Team for 2016, and he confirmed that he did in fact talk with the new American team.
“There were definitely some talks, yes,” Hulkenberg reported. “Let’s not go too much into detail. I’ve made my decision, you are aware of it now.”