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Equal status for Force India drivers in 2012

Returning German driver Nico Hulkenberg will enjoy equal status with his teammate Paul di Resta this year, Force India has announced.

Hulkenberg, 24, is returning to the grid in 2012 after a season on the Silverstone based team’s reserve bench, following his ousting by Williams a year ago.

His teammate is Scot di Resta, who made his F1 debut last year alongside the departing German veteran Adrian Sutil.

The pair both have 19 career grands prix under their belts, with di Resta scoring a few more championship points than Hulkenberg, but the German having achieved his first pole position just before his enforced sabbatical.

“We’ve never had a policy here where we have a lead driver,” Force India’s sporting director Andy Stevenson told Sky Sports news.

“Both drivers get exactly the same treatment, they get exactly the same equipment,” he insisted.