Date: 3rd September 2015 at 10:16am
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Nico Hulkenberg has signed a contract extension with Force India.

The German driver is one of the most popular drivers on the grid and frustratingly one of the most under-valued drivers around.

It is not accurate to say he is under-rated, because he isn’t everyone in the paddock knows how good he is and everyone in the media rates the 2015 Le Mans winner highly.

But for whatever reason he has never found himself in the right car at the right time and the big teams have never handed him the opportunity he deserves.

He was set to be out-of-contract with Force India at the end of 2015, but instead of someone like Ferrari offering him a deal he was instead heavily linked to the new Formula One entrants Hass.

Another option for the 29-year-old may well have been Williams, but that spot would only have opened up if Ferrari had not kept Kimi Raikkonen and had actually replaced him with Valtteri Bottas.

With those particular domino’s failing to fall, Hulkenberg has opted to stick rather than twist and remain with Force India.

‘I’m very pleased to finalise and announce my plans for the future, I know this team inside out and I feel at home here so it made perfect sense to make a long-term commitment. The progress the team has shown over the last two years has really impressed me and gives me confidence for the future.

‘It’s a great group of people who are hungry for success and want to keep improving year-on-year. I think we have the important things in place going forward and I want to continue growing with this team as we move even further up the grid.’
Hulkenberg told Sky Sports after signing his new two-year-deal.

But who will be his team-mate for 2016 and beyond?

Sergio Perez could remain with the team, but the Mexican has been linked with a move to Lotus, who are in the midst of a potential takeover by Renault.

If Perez makes the switch then that could mean that Pastor Maldonado goes in the opposite direction and joins Force India.