Date printed: October 17 2020
Nico Hulkenberg has confirmed he’s ready to make a 3rd F1 visitor look this season – however it will solely be easy at Racing Level.
The German has stood in for each Racing Point drivers this yr due to well being causes, firstly Sergio Perez within the two races at Silverstone after the Mexican examined constructive for COVID-19.
Then on the Eifel Grand Prix, Hulkenberg stepped into Lance Stroll’s automobile when the Canadian was sidelined by a abdomen upset. He completed eighth, including to his P7 on the seventieth Anniversary Grand Prix to provide him 10 factors for the season, placing him fifteenth within the World Championship standings.
The lucky facet for ‘The Hulk’ was that for his newest last-gasp call-up, he was solely an hour away from the Nurburgring circuit on the Saturday morning and may it occur once more, he’s unlikely to be anyplace close to as shut – given this yr’s remaining races happen in Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
And whereas he isn’t ruling out one other F1 outing this yr, Hulkenberg acknowledges that circumstances had fallen into place completely to allow him to compete within the Eifel Grand Prix reasonably than Racing Level’s official reserve driver, Stoffel Vandoorne.
Requested by Auto Motor und Sport whether or not he shall be on standby each weekend to any extent further simply in case, the 33-year-old stated: “I’m prepared and in addition contractually free.
“It’s as much as the groups to plan and take a longer-term view. Someway it simply occurs by itself.
“You may’t plan one thing just like the Nürburgring. I imply, what’s the chance that the identical workforce will want you twice a yr? The place the seat is already there, the place your physio works within the workforce anyway?
“If that had occurred in some other workforce, it will not have been attainable as a result of they don’t have a seat for me. I couldn’t have pushed with out a seat. One other workforce would wish a distinct lead time.
“Leaping backwards and forwards between workforce A, B and C shouldn’t be really easy and fascinating. It’s not that straightforward, simply come alongside and get used to the whole lot anew.”
Nevertheless, Hulkenberg stated he would have thought in a different way had it been Pink Bull – with Alex Albon having returned an “inconclusive” test result earlier than the Eifel Grand Prix weekend. Albon subsequently examined adverse and was capable of compete.
“I might, in fact, have made an exception for Dr Marko,” stated Hulkenberg. “Outdated bond. That may have been a really tight factor as a result of the seat would have needed to be tinkered on web site.
“Looking back, it will most likely have been attainable as a result of there was no driving on Friday. However it wouldn’t have labored with Pink Bull as shortly as Racing Level.”