Former Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg believes the Silverstone based outfit will find it tough to replicate their form from 2016 in 2017.

The Silverstone based outfit finished the 2016 season in fourth place in the Constructors championship on 173 points ending the year ahead of Williams Martini Racing and McLaren Honda.

Hulkenberg, who has moved to the Renault Sport F1 Team for 2017 replacing Kevin Magnussen believes that Force India will find it difficult to match 2016 due to the development rate of modern Formula One. The German feels the team need a bigger budget to compete with the likes of Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Renault and the other big teams.

Hulkenberg was left a little frustrated by his season particularly with his result in Monte Carlo.

Hulkenberg’s former team mate Sergio Perez secured two podium finishes in 2016 while the German failed to score a podium finish however with his new team he hopes to be in a position to challenge for race wins by 2018.

The Enstone outfit will continue their restructuring during 2017 having returned to Formula One as a full works team in 2016 having bought back the Enstone outfit from Gerard Lopez, owner of Genii Capital who had brought the Lotus name back to Formula One.

Hulkenberg joins Jolyon Palmer at the Renault Sport F1 Team for 2017 having signed a two year contract with the Enstone based outfit.

Force India have brought in Mercedes young driver Esteban Ocon who drove for Manor Racing this season.

The 2017 Formula One season gets underway Down Under in Melbourne, Australia from March 23-26.

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