Nico Hulkenberg had one of his most crazy weeks in his life. The likeable German was on his way to the Nurburgring on Thursday when he received a call from Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer. The question was whether he wanted to replace Sergio Perez who is in isolation because of a positive test for the coronavirus. Hulkenberg immediately drove home to get some things, went on a private flight to England and a few hours later he was in Silverstone.
It was literally the first race against the clock for both Hulkenberg and Racing Point. In the end, I managed to get the Hulk to participate in training immediately on Friday morning after his corona tests were negative and his super license was issued by the FIA.
During qualifying, he didn’t make it through Q2 and got stuck in thirteenth place. However, the race day became more dramatic. When all drivers were on the grid before the start, Hulkenberg’s RP20 remained in the pit box because the team was unable to start the engine. The problem was so great that it could not be solved in time. To Ziggo, he said, “Shit. Problem with the power unit, we couldn’t start the engine. It prevented me from participating in the race, but it fits the last three days and then this today. Very crazy.”
“It is not quite decided whether I will drive next week, I do not know how it is with Sergio. My neck is also good now, that would have felt different after 52 laps today,” concludes Hulkenberg with a laugh.
The Mexican Perez is currently in quarantine and reports from Silverstone are that he must remain indoors for at least 10 days on the day of the test taken. Hulkenberg would drive the second race in Silverstone anyway. If the result of Perez’s next test is positive again, Hulkenberg will also ride the Spanish Grand Prix on August 17.
Team boss Otmar Szafnauer has already indicated that he is considering securing Hulkenberg as a reserve driver for the rest of the season.