Force India will not stand in Nico Hulkenberg's way if a big team came in for his services, says deputy team principal Bob Fernley.
Hulkenberg has had an impressive F1 career so far but has yet to stand on the podium having raced for Williams, Sauber and Force India. The German has been retained as part of an unchanged driver line-up at Force India after signing a new two-year contract in the summer of 2015, despite being linked with a move to Ferrari.
Fernley says it was important for the team to retain its two drivers after the most successful season in its history but he believes Hulkenberg would be allowed to leave if a front-running team came in for him.
"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," 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] would use the same foresight and vision as he did for the Le Mans decision."
And Fernley feels Hulkenberg deserves the chance to add to his Le Mans victory with a drive in a race-winning F1 car.
"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."
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