Hülkenberg is currently seeing out his contract with the Force India squad before joining Renault, having also raced in the past in F1 for Williams and Sauber. However many believe he has not yet enjoyed a car that enables him to show what his talents can do in F1 – he won 2015’s Le Mans 24 Hours race with Porsche.
The German driver commented: “Renault has always been a big player in the motor sport world that brings up incredible memories: in his stint at Renault, Michael Schumacher not only made Germany an F1 nation; he also sparked my enthusiasm and fire for racing. As a part of the Renault family, I want to develop the car and write new success stories.
“It has always been my dream to work for a manufacturer team. F1’s new regulations will change the game and give our team a good opportunity. In the years to come, Renault will play a challenger role, which fits my approach to racing 100 per cent. I can’t wait to become part of the family.”
The 2017 season will mark Groupe Renault’s second year in its return as a manufacturer entry in Formula 1.
Jérôme Stoll, Renault Sport Racing Chairman, added: “For our next step we required an experienced driver who is still hungry for podiums. Nico Hülkenberg fulfils this role perfectly and is an excellent complement to what we want to achieve. He is a highly talented, dedicated and motivated driver.
“Nico will enable us to harness all the hard work completed this season and translate it to improved results on track in 2017 and beyond. We look forward to seeing him in our new car for 2017.”
News of Hulkenberg’s signing came after the recent Singapore, Malaysian and Japanese grands prix in which the Renault team appeared to make gains with its car, the R.S.16, as British driver Jolyon Palmer was able to achieve his first points finish in F1.
Palmer took a well-earned ninth place result in Malaysia at the Sepang circuit – a result which helped lay to rest the ghosts of July’s Hungarian GP when a late spin agonisingly saw him miss out on his maiden points finish.
Palmer’s result in Malaysia followed Danish team-mate Kevin Magnussen’s tenth place result – again for a point – in Singapore. And in the Japanese GP at Suzuka both drivers were able to produce solid result, with Palmer not far off the points again in 12th.
Team Principal Fred Vasseur said: “We fought with Williams in terms of pace until the end of the race and we were in front of McLaren and Toro Rosso. Today’s race confirmed that we have gone a step forward in pure performance, despite a tricky qualifying session on Saturday.”