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Report: Hulkenberg set for Renault switch

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 on the drivers parade. Malaysian Grand Prix, Saturday 2nd October 2016. Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Oct.8 - Nico Hulkenberg will definitely move to Renault for 2017, Germany's Auto Bild is reporting on Saturday.

The publication said its source is within the French works team, which looks set to split not only from Jolyon Palmer but also Kevin Magnussen.

Magnussen's extended 2017 contract 'option' runs out next week but Auto Bild said Renault wants a Frenchman to be Hulkenberg's teammate.

The obvious favourite is Esteban Ocon, but the report said the youngster's Renault link is only due to a 'handshake' between Mercedes' Toto Wolff and Frederic Vasseur.

But Vasseur could be about to leave the team, due to a power struggle with fellow Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul.

So it is believed Ocon has now joined fellow Mercedes junior Pascal Wehrlein in the running to replace Hulkenberg at Force India,

And the French drivers in the running to be Hulkenberg's Renault teammate are reportedly Red Bull junior Pierre Gasly, and former Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne.

German-language F1 pundit Marc Surer backed Hulkenberg's impending move.

"Renault will be strong in the coming years, while on the other hand the future of Force India, because of financial question marks, is rather uncertain," he said.

"So I see Hulkenberg as better off with Renault."

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