The German was linked with a move to Enstone last weekend, with Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley suggesting the team would not stand in Hulkenberg’s way despite him having a contract for next season.
Reports in both Germany and the UK suggest Hulkenberg has now agreed a two-year contract with an option for a further year at Renault, with his final release from Force India still to be agreed.
Hulkenberg himself playfully retweeted one of the reports, referencing a sports page but ignoring the headline regarding his new contract.
Prior to targeting Hulkenberg, Renault was also linked with Sergio Perez, Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas as it wants an experienced driver to lead its recovery following a difficult first year back in F1 after the takeover of Lotus.
Hulkenberg started his career with Williams in 2010 and has been at Force India for four of the past five seasons, moving to Sauber for a year in 2013. Despite 111 race starts, the 2015 Le Mans winner – who has one pole position to his name – has yet to finish on the podium.
Such a move will leave Renault with one vacant race seat for 2017, with Esteban Ocon having been favourite for one of the seats. However, with a Mercedes-powered team now also with a vacancy, both Ocon and Manor team-mate Pascal Wehrlein will feature near the top of Force India’s list having previously tested for the team.
Renault is believed to also still be considering current race drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer for its 2017 line-up, and both drivers are likely to target Force India should they lose their current seat.
This article originally appeared on F1i.com
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Speaking to French broadcaster Canal Plus, Prost reiterated his belief that Rosberg will keep Lewis Hamilton at bay until the end of the season thanks to his current 33-point lead.
“A 33 point lead starts to be important,” said Prost.
“It’s much better to have that lead with four races to go than the four wins he had at the start of the season.
“He will have to manage this lead now, and get into a psychological state that is not always easy.”
Prost insisted however that it could still all go wrong for the German: should he suffer a retirement in Austin, Hamilton will be back in the chase.
“It’s never easy to manage such a big lead, especially against Lewis Hamilton, who thinks the whole world is against him now. But it could still turn, one retirement and Lewis is right back in the race.”
Noting Rosberg’s nine victories this season, Prost reminded everyone that no driver has ever won as many races and failed to win the title.
“How can you not be champion if you’ve won nine races? That is the question Nico Rosberg hopes he does not have to answer at the end of the season.
“But the German is doing everything he has to for his first world title.”