Hulkenberg replaces Perez at Racing Point for British Grand Prix

By Sports Desk July 31, 2020

Nico Hulkenberg will make his return to the Formula One grid with Racing Point this weekend as Sergio Perez's replacement for the British Grand Prix.

It was confirmed on Thursday that Perez would be unable to race at Silverstone having tested positive for coronavirus, meaning he would have to self-isolate along with some members of the Racing Point team.

Racing Point needed another driver to join Lance Stroll for the fourth round of the 2020 season and have called in Hulkenberg.

The 32-year-old, who has started 177 grands prix but never finished on the podium, had been without a seat after leaving Renault following the 2019 season.

Hulkenberg has familiarity with the team having raced for Racing Point's previous incarnation Force India in 2012 and between 2014 and 2016.

A statement from Racing Point read: "Nico's experience of racing in contemporary Formula One and his strong track record ensure he is the ideal driver to stand in for Sergio Perez this weekend.

"In a bid to minimise 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."

Having seen Racing Point call in a veteran driver for the race, former F1 world champion Jenson Button - who has not raced in the sport since 2017 - jokingly tweeted: ".@RacingPointF1 Have you lost my number?"

Prior to the Hulkenberg announcement, Perez explained he had returned home to Mexico to see his mother after she was involved in an accident, and the 30-year-old was unsure how he had contracted COVID-19.

"I'm extremely sad, definitely one of the saddest days in my career," he said in a video posted on his Twitter account.

"The amount of preparation that we put into this weekend - to be 100 per cent ready for it - I know I had a great car, that the team had done a fantastic job, I'm really sad that this happened. But it does show how vulnerable we all are to this virus. 

"I followed all the instructions from the FIA, from my team. After Hungary we prepared a plane to go to Mexico to see my mum for two days because she had an accident.

"As soon as she left hospital I was able to see her. Then I came back to Europe the same way, with all the protocols in place, and I just got [coronavirus], I don't know from where. 

"I have no symptoms at all so it just shows how vulnerable we all are to this."

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    The prospect of a dream partnership between six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton and Formula One's top young star Verstappen has often been speculated over.

    But Verstappen is under contract with Red Bull, who will lose its engine provider, Honda, after next season, until 2023.

    Wolff is happy to have Hamilton partnered by Valtteri Bottas, the duo providing a level of team harmony much different to when the Briton was sharing a garage with Nico Rosberg.

    "The situation around Max doesn't provide any opportunity now," Mercedes team principal Wolff said to the Beyond the Grid podcast.

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    In-form Verstappen has reached the podium in the eight grands prix he has finished in 2020, winning once and taking second place five times.

    Ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix this weekend, Hamilton leads Bottas by 69 points, with Verstappen just 14 adrift of the Finn in third.

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    Bottas, meanwhile, was unable to win at the Eifel Grand Prix last time out despite starting from pole position – the ninth time that has happened from his 14 poles.

  • MotoGP 2020: Mir the merrier as title contenders target Spain gains MotoGP 2020: Mir the merrier as title contenders target Spain gains

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    Vinales made it an all-Spanish top four, while Andrea Dovizioso salvaged seventh place after starting in 13th.



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    Poles mounting for Quartararo - Quartararo is the first French rider and the 20th in history to secure 10 pole positions in 500cc/MotoG

    Rins hits double figures -  Rins is the eighth Spanish rider to achieve 10 podiums in 500cc/MotoGP.

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    Flying the flag - After Casey Stoner's first two victories (2010 and 2011), only Spanish riders have won in the following eight races at MotorLand (Marc Marquez, five; Lorenzo, two; Dani Pedrosa and Rins both one).



    1. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) 121
    2. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) 115
    3. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) 109
    4. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 106
    5. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) 92

    1. Suzuki Ecstar 206
    2. Petronas Yamaha 202
    3. Ducati 171
    4. Monster Energy Yamaha 167
    5. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 144

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    "I think Red Bull as well as Renault have really picked up their game and closed the gap, so we've got to continue to keep our heads down," he said.

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    Ending the wait - The Portuguese GP is back 24 years after its previous race, when Jacques Villeneuve (Williams) won in 1996. Portimao is the fourth track to be used for this event, following Estoril, Porto and Monsant.

    Another ticked off - This will be the 32nd different circuit Hamilton has raced at. He has tasted victory at 27 of the other 31 and achieved pole at 28 - both records.

    Winning Williams? - Williams have won five of the past six races in Portugal, also taking pole position at five of these grands prix. No team can top their overall tallies of six wins and five poles in Portugal.

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    1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 230
    2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 161
    3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 147
    4. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) - 78
    5. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) - 68


    1. Mercedes – 391
    2. Red Bull – 211
    3. Racing Point - 120
    4. McLaren – 116
    5. Renault – 114

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