Sergio Perez has become the first pilot to test positive for COVID-19 and, according to strict protocols, has to spend some time in self-isolation.
As a result, the Mexican driver will miss the British Grand Prix and could also be excluded from the next two events – the 7th Anniversary race (also at Silverstone) and the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
With just seven minutes to go until the end of first practice at Silverstone on Friday, Hulkenberg has been confirmed as Perez’s replacement and may well replace him for the aforementioned races.
Hulkenberg could also be invited to become the official reserve of Racing Point. At the moment, Racing Point does not have one as they share resources with Mercedes, whose reserves are Esteban Gutierrez and Stoffel Vandoorne.
“The probability that we will need both reserves or that they will need both reserves is close to zero, which is why we decided to split,” Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer said at the conference. FIA press conference.
“Stoffel was not available, Esteban was, but Nico was too and our choice was therefore between Esteban and Nico. As for having ours, maybe after these two races, Nico might want to become our reserve. I’ll have to ask him.
There have been calls for junior Mercedes George Russell to have the opportunity to fight higher on the grid. The British driver has tested and held FP1 sessions for Racing Point before, but Szafnauer said it was never an option.
“We’ve coached George Russell before, we’ve tested him, he’s a very talented young man but he’s under contract with Williams so we didn’t consider George,” he said.
“We took into account the drivers who are currently not under contract with the Formula 1 teams as well as the Mercedes reserves as we share them.
As to why Racing Point chose ‘The Hulk’, Szafnauer explained, “We thought Nico would be more suitable for our team because he knows us very well, he knows all the engineers, he knows our systems, our processes, he knows us. drove our simulator. .
“It would be easy for him to get back into the simulator and he also has relevant experience having driven in Formula 1 last year, and we just needed someone who could score points for us, so we thought that Nico would be the best for us. . ”
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