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Reports in Germany claim Nico Hulkenberg has signed a deal to return to Force India

German driver set to go back to Force India - but alongside whom?

By Pete Gill.   Last Updated: 24/11/13 4:38pm

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Nico Hulkenberg has signed a contract with Force India for 2014, according to reports in his native Germany.

The claim has been made by Auto Motor und Sport, with the newspaper reporting the 26-year-old has put pen to paper on a '2014 plus options' deal which would give Hulkenberg - who has already driven for three different teams in his three years in the sport - sufficient wriggle room if a seat at Ferrari becomes available for 2015.

Hulkenberg has been vying with Pastor Maldonado to replace the Ferrari-bound Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus, but has seemingly lost patience with the Enstone outfit's dallying.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, 'The deal could be announced in the next few days, maybe even right after the Brazilian GP.'

However, despite the apparent certainty that Hulkenberg is returning to Force India just a year after departing the team for Sauber, plenty of other mysteries surround the few remaining vacancies for 2014.

Although sources have told Sky F1 that Hulkenberg will be partnered by current incumbent Adrian Sutil next year, Bild claims the Silverstone-based team are still considering the merits of appointing McLaren outcast Sergio Perez and Sutil may transfer to Sauber.

Just to add another layer of intrigue, it's also still far from guaranteed that Pastor Maldonado will take the remaining seat at Lotus alongside Romain Grosjean even if Hulkenberg returns to Force India.

The future, however, appears to be bleak for Paul di Resta. Despite out-pointing and out-qualifying Sutil this term, the Scot looks set to be cut adrift from F1 at the end of the year.

Who's where in 2014?
Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo.
Ferrari: Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Lotus: To be confirmed.
McLaren: Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen.
Sauber: To be confirmed.
Force India: To be confirmed.
Williams: Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
Toro Rosso: Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat.
Marussia: Jules Bianchi with second driver not yet confirmed.
Caterham: To be confirmed.

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