Nico Hülkenberg has reportedly given up waiting on Lotus’ long-awaited cash injection from the ‘Quantum’ investment group and signed a deal to return to Force India next season.
Those are the claims by veteran Swiss journalist Roger Benoit – chief F1 writer for the Blick newspaper – who has written that the German will return to the same Silverstone team which rescued his F1 career in late 2010 after he unceremoniously dumped by Williams in favour of Pastor Maldonado’s PDVSA millions.
It is ironic that Maldonado backers are again set to gazump him out of a much-deserved promotion to Lotus, but the German’s only hopes rest on the cash coming through from ‘Quantum’, which agreed to a 35% purchase of the team almost six months ago.
Unless the funds arrive, Hülkenberg stands no chance of getting the drive at Lotus, and it’s a face he’s all too aware of as he tries to shore up his future in the sport.
“It has been dragging on for so long to the point that it loses credibility,” Hülkenberg is quoted as saying.
“When it is repeatedly put off and put off, you eventually lose hope.”
Rather than wait any longer, Benoit reports that Hülkenberg has agreed to terms to return to Force India, whom he left at the end of 2012 for Sauber, still owed some of his salary from the Vijay Mallya-owned team.
Seemingly having learned his lesson about making sure he actually gets paid, it is understood that the terms of the deal are that Hülkenberg is back-paid the remainder of the 2012 salary owed to him and given an advance on his 2014 season salary, with the retainer believed to be just shy of €2 million.
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