German driver Nico Hulkenberg has returned to Force India for the 2014 Formula One season, the Britain-based Indian team announced on Tuesday.
Nico Hulkenberg. Pic/AFP
The 26-year-old, who has agreed a multi-year deal, previously joined Force India as a test driver in 2011 and finished 11th in the team's colours in 2012 before joining Sauber.
He finished 10th in the drivers' championship last season, with a highest finish of fourth at the Korean Grand Prix in October. "I am happy to come back to Sahara Force India," he said in a statement.
"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. I genuinely believe we can have a competitive package in 2014.
"I've heard a lot of positive things about the Mercedes engine as well, so I think there is a lot to be excited about for next year.
"I know this team and I can see their determination; it's a great bunch of people and we all share the same hunger for success."
Team principal and managing director Dr Vijay Mallya said he was "delighted" by Hulkenberg's return.
Mallya added: "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.
"Having Nico in our line-up is a real statement of intent and a huge boost for everyone associated with the team." Force India are still to confirm who will partner Hulkenberg next season.
Paul Di Resta and Adrian Sutil drove for the marque in 2013, but while each of them could yet be retained, Mexican driver Sergio Perez is reportedly in contention to join the team after leaving McLaren.
"From all the names that are out there, I can work with anyone," Hulkenberg told Britain's Sky Sports News.
"It doesn't really matter for me. I want a strong team-mate and one that is challenging me. I know there are a few names around but it is not my decision. I'm sure it won't be long before we know."