Hulkenberg departure took Force India by surprise

By on Saturday, February 2, 2013

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley has said that the departure of Nico Hulkenberg took the team by surprise.

Hulkenberg left Force India to drive for Sauber from the start of this season.

"The idea of the Nico/Paul partnership not continuing into 2013 wasn't our plan," Fernley toldĀ Autosport.

"Obviously it slightly de-railed our programme."

Force India has yet to announce a second driver to partner Paul di Resta, with Fernley admitting that the plan had been to keep Jules Bianchi as reserve driver for two years.

"If we'd had an ideal world we'd have liked to run Jules for two years as a third driver."

"Is Jules ready to go into a primary seat? Yes, he is. Absolutely. But we've just got to make sure we tick all the boxes now."

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On this day
  • Giancarlo Baghetti won the 1961 French Grand Prix.
  • Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1950 French Grand Prix.
  • Jackie Stewart won the 1972 French Grand Prix.
  • David Coulthard won the 2000 French Grand Prix.
  • Mario Andretti won the 1978 French Grand Prix.
  • Michael Schumacher won the 1995 French Grand Prix.
  • Jack Brabham won the 1967 French Grand Prix.
  • Michael Schumacher won the 2006 United States Grand Prix.