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Hulkenberg joins Force India for 2014

Sauber Formula One driver Nico Hulkenberg of Germany attends the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit
Sauber Formula One driver Nico Hulkenberg of Germany attends the first practice session of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit

LONDON (Reuters) - German Nico Hulkenberg will drive for Force India next season, the British-based Formula One team said on Tuesday.

Hulkenberg, 26, drove for Force India in 2012 having been a test driver there the previous year.

"I am happy to come back to Sahara Force India. 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," Hulkenberg, who finished 10th this season with Sauber, said in a statement.

Team principal and managing director Vijay Mallya said the signing of one of the sport's brightest talents would help the team build on their sixth place in the constructors' championship in 2013.

"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," Mallya said.

"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."

Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta were Force India's drivers this season and the team said they would announce their full driver line-up for 2014 in due course.

Sutil recently made critical comments about the car and was quoted in an interview with Germany's Auto Motor und Sport as saying it was like "a carrot".

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)

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