Yes, this is one of those big changes that will definitely influence the 2017 line up. As Nico makes his decision to join Renault for the 2017 Formula 1 season, he leaves the current drivers Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen guessing which one of them will not hold a race seat with the team. This change will be implemented only after the current season comes to an end.
The reason for Renault to acquire Nico is quite evident; they are trying to get back in the game. After all, their performance in the 2016 season was not that satisfactory. They have just 8 points from the 17 Grands Prix to date.
To give you some background, Nico had previously signed a two-year contract with the French manufacturer with the option of continuing for a third season in 2013. This time, his deal with Renault is speculated to be for the duration of three years at $19.8 million.
Nico was quoted saying, “I’m very happy to join the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team in 2017. Renault has always been a big player in the motorsport world that brings up incredible memories: in his stint with Renault, Michael Schumacher not only made Germany an F1 nation, he also sparked my enthusiasm and fire for racing. As a part of the Renault family, I want to develop the car and write new success stories. For the remaining races this year, I will give my best for Force India to reach fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship."
Nico’s current commitment to Force India is also quite evident. At the moment, Nico is in the midst of a solid season for Force India. He has already scored about championship points, which includes points for top-10 finishes in seven of the last eight races, and is ninth in the F1 driver standings. This is one of the reasons why Force India is fourth place in the Constructors' Championship. Nico’s heartfelt account does bring a smile to the Renault team; they wanted an experienced person to take lead for the 2017 championship.