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F1 star’s ‘wild’ dash to replace Perez at British GP

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Nico Hulkenberg made an sudden return to Formula One, stepping in at Racing Point after Sergio Perez examined constructive for the coronavirus forward of the British Grand Prix.

The 32-year-old Hulkenberg, who misplaced his seat at Renault for this season, was referred to as in late by Racing Point group principal Otmar Szafnauer.

“We had to discover him, after which we had to get him to England, then we would have liked an excellent license after which we would have liked a damaging virus check,” Szafnauer stated.

“So quite a lot of issues had to occur and it got here along with about 15 minutes to go.”

The German driver was instantly again in motion for the primary time since November, ending ninth within the first follow on Friday at Silverstone, the place no followers are attending due to virus restrictions.

“The final 24 hours have been a bit particular, loopy and wild,” Hulkenberg informed the F1 web site.

“[At] 4.30pm yesterday afternoon I acquired the decision, took the airplane right here, seat fitted till 2.00am, 8.00am this morning into the simulator for an hour, little bit of prep work – so it was a brief night time, however all worthwhile.

“We did not have heaps of time as a result of I had to be examined [for Covid] as effectively however the actual deal, clearly at present, we have got the programme in, we acquired a few laps or many laps, which I really feel. I’ve been actually thrown into the chilly water right here.”

“I used to be on my manner to the Nürburgring for one more racing undertaking when the decision from Otmar got here,” Hulkenberg stated.

“That was lower than 24 hours in the past, so it feels a bit surreal for me proper now, however I like a great problem and that is definitely one.

“It’s clearly a tough scenario for Racing Point and Checo. He’s a buddy of mine, an outdated teammate and I want him a speedy restoration. I’ll step in and take a look at do one of the best I can for the group.”

It shall be Hulkenberg’s 178th F1 race.

“Having to discover a substitute for Sergio at brief discover is not any simple job,” Szafnauer stated, “however in Nico we have got a improbable supersub who the group is aware of very effectively. He’s definitely being thrown in at the deep finish, however he is a quick learner and I’m certain he’ll rise up to pace rapidly.”

Szafnauer just isn’t certain if Perez can reclaim his seat for subsequent weekend’s race, which can be being held at Silverstone.

“At this level, we do not know. We nonetheless do not know if England will ask him to quarantine for seven days or 10 days,” Szafnauer stated, referring to well being and security protocols.

Perez believes he picked up the virus on a visit dwelling to Mexico to go to his mom after she had an accident. He examined constructive for COVID-19 on Thursday and has to go into isolation.

“I’m extraordinarily unhappy, undoubtedly one of many saddest days in my profession,” Perez stated. “The quantity of preparation we put into this weekend to be 100% prepared, I knew I had an incredible automobile beneath me, that the group had completed a improbable job.”

Reporting no signs of the virus, Perez stated it was a reminder how weak everyone seems to be to turning into contaminated.

“After Hungary I took a non-public airplane to Mexico to see my mum for 2 days as a result of she had a giant accident. So as quickly as she left hospital I used to be ready to see her,” he stated. “Then I got here again to Europe, identical manner, with all of the protocols in place. And I simply acquired it, I do not know from the place.”

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