Nico Hulkenburg is returning to Formula 1.
Following Sergio Perez‘s positive test for COVID-19, Hulkenberg will pilot the BWT Racing Point entry in the British Grand Prix (Aug. 2) at the Silverstone Circuit, the team announced July 31.
It was a last-minute effort to get a replacement in the seat, as Perez’s July 30 announcement came just days before the next grand prix.
The 32-year-old German returns to F1 after last competing in 2019, but he is no stranger to the Racing Point organization. Hulkenberg was on its 2011 roster as a reserve driver and later competed full time for the team in 2012 before returning to the organization for a three-year span between 2014 and 2016.
“I was on my way to the Nurburgring for another racing project when the call came, “Hulkenberg said in a release. “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 teammate, and I wish him a speedy recovery.”
In 177 F1 starts, Hulkenburg has scored one pole, two fastest laps and 511 career points on the circuit during his 10-year career as a driver. Despite his experience, there was a still a significant time crunch on the team’s end.
“There was a lot to do in a little bit of time,” team boss Otmar Szafnauer said. “We had the definitive result yesterday at 2:20 p.m. So from that point on we had to find Hulkenberg, and get him agree to do this, which wasn’t that difficult, I think he was keen.”
Hulkenberg has gotten off to a fast start, slotting ninth in the opening session of practice.
About the author
Never at a loss for words, Zach Gillispie is a young, talented marketing professional from North Carolina who talks and writes on the side about his first love: racing! Since joining Frontstretch in 2018, Zach has served in numerous roles where he currently pens the NASCAR 101 column, a weekly piece delving into the basic nuts and bolts of the sport. Additionally, his unabashedly bold takes meshed with that trademarked dry wit of his have made Zach a fan favorite on the weekly Friday Faceoff panel. In his free time, he can be found in the great outdoors, actively involved in his church, cheering on his beloved Atlanta Braves or ruthlessly pestering his colleagues with completely useless statistics about Delma Cowart.
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