Hulkenberg to replace Perez at Silverstone (Update)
|Hulkenberg will drive the 'pink' Mercedes this weekend|
UPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' with this team announcement:
Nico Hulkenberg will drive for BWT Racing Point F1 Team in this weekend’s British Grand Prix, lining up alongside Lance Stroll.
Nico’s experience of racing in contemporary Formula 1 and his strong track record ensure he is the ideal driver to stand in for Sergio Perez this weekend.
In a bid to minimize disruption and ensure the best possible chance of building upon the team’s strong start to the 2020 campaign, Nico’s familiarity with the team will prove invaluable.
Nico’s association with the team began in 2011 as reserve driver, before graduating into a race seat for 2012.
He raced for the team between 2014 and 2016 as a regular Top 10 finisher in the Drivers’ Standings.
Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal BWT Racing Point F1 Team:
“Having to find a replacement for Sergio at short notice is no easy task, but in Nico we’ve got a fantastic supersub who the team knows very well. He’s certainly being thrown in at the deep end, but he’s a fast learner and I’m sure he will get up to speed quickly.”
“I was on my way to the Nurburgring for another racing project when the call from Otmar came. That was less than 24 hours ago, so it feels a bit surreal for me right now, but I like a good challenge and this is certainly one. It’s obviously a difficult situation for Racing Point and Checo. He’s a buddy of mine, an old team-mate and I wish him a speedy recovery. I’ll step in and try do the best I can for the team!”
|Nico Hulkenberg may get nod over reserve ride-buyer Esteban Gutierrez|
07/31/20 (GMM) Nico Hulkenberg looks set to make a shock return to Formula 1 this weekend at Silverstone.
It comes after Sergio Perez was sidelined after testing positive for coronavirus.
Formula 1 insists, however, that the back-to-back races in Britain will go ahead.
"The procedures set out by the FIA and Formula 1 have provided for swift containment of an incident that will have no wider impact on this weekend's event," a statement read.
As for Racing Point, the Silverstone based team said its regular Mexican driver is "physically well", and the "intention is to race two cars on Sunday".
Mercedes reserve Stoffel Vandoorne was first in line to replace Perez, but he is in Berlin for a Formula E race.
"Stoffel is in Berlin to prepare for the last six rounds of Formula E which will start next Wednesday," a Mercedes spokesperson told La Derniere Heure.
"In case Sergio Perez cannot race, our second reserve Esteban Gutierrez will replace him."
Gutierrez is indeed at Silverstone, but Racing Point's first pick is in fact believed to be Nico Hulkenberg, who lost his Renault seat at the end of last year.
The German, who drove for the Silverstone based team - then Force India - in 2012 and again in 2014-2016, has reportedly undergone a corona test and is awaiting the results.