Nico Hulkenberg, Racing Point, Silverstone, 2020

Late call-up made it hard to get most from car – Hulkenberg

2020 British Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Nico Hulkenberg admitted he didn’t get the most out of his car in qualifying, but said he wasn’t sure he could have done after his late call-up for Racing Point.

“I feel there was more potential and I didn’t get everything from the table, but given the circumstances it’s also very hard,” said Hulkenberg, who only found out on Thursday he would be racing this weekend in place of Sergio Perez.

“I don’t know if you can expect to get 100% from the car in those circumstances. It was small margins.”

Hulkenberg failed to make the cut for Q3 after trying to qualify for the race on the medium tyre compound.

“Q3 was not far away,” he said. “We played around with the different compounds so that was a bit tricky also with the rhythm. It is what it is for today.”

Hulkenberg admitted he was feeling the physical strain of driving the cars around the high-speed Silverstone circuit.

“These cars are beasts,” he said. “They have so much downforce, I’ve never felt so much speed in the corners here, so much speed. It’s pretty impressive. But also tough.”

Having failed to qualify in the top 10, Hulkenberg has a free tyre choice for tomorrow’s race, and will consider using a set of medium tyres at the start, which could give him a strategic advantage.

“That’s always a good option,” he said. “I think some of the other top 10 runners they’re also starting on the harder tyre, the medium. So it’s going to be interesting to see.

“For me, there’s so many new inputs. Every situation I enter into with the car is new. First time quali, first time low fuel, first time high fuel. So I have to learn, soak everything in, digest it fastest which hasn’t been easy. But I’ve also been enjoying it.”

Advert | Become a Supporter & go ad-free

2020 F1 season

Browse all 2020 F1 season articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

13 comments on “Late call-up made it hard to get most from car – Hulkenberg”

  1. There was definitely more potential in the car. A missed opportunity. But lack of in car practice is also a major factor.

  2. The result is not a surprise as he was not prepared. If Perez was still driving, he would have probably qualified in P2 or P3.

    1. @jacquesnotvilleneuve
      That’s a bit of a stretch. Stroll (the best benchmark we have) needed to find 1.3 seconds or 0.6 seconds to get 2nd or 3rd respectively.

      Theres nothing to suggest that Perez could have qualified that far ahead of Stroll – in the 3 races this year, on average Stroll has been ahead. Even ignoring the one wet race which sometimes throws up some interesting results, we have Perez outqualifying Stroll by 2 tenths in Austria and Stroll outqualifying Perez by 2 tenths in Hungary.

      1. And actually, if I remember well, Hulk and Stroll difference was smaller than 2 tenths if you compare their Q2 lap times on mediums

    2. No way it could have been P1 or P3. P4 at maximum

  3. Well that is always going to be the de-facto excuse… All weekend long.

    1. It’s the reality of his situation, though. I don’t think it would have been fair to expect him to outpace Stroll, who’s already driven 3 GP’s this season, from the get-go. Next weekend’s race will be a better time to hope for a good result and to judge him against Stroll.

      1. The weekend is not over yet. Qualifying is important but the first lap of the race even more so.

  4. Honestly, I figured he’d be further behind Stroll than this. He’s at quite a disadvantage and Stroll has been decent this season even compared to Perez.

  5. Imagine if Alonso had not signed for Renault yet… He could be the one driving that RP.
    I believe he would nail it right away. Maybe a full race would take its toll on the physical side, but his qualifying effort would be something to watch.
    Anyway, I hope Hulk gets a shot to his podium by strategy.

    1. Only facts? Just guessing!
      There are reasons for RP to choose the Hulk. Knowing the team, simulator, 2019 cars…

  6. Racing point were spot on to bring in the Hulk.. It has been interesting to hear him talking about all the imputs and getting to grips with the car. To have an experienced driver step in who already understands such cars is so much better than having a reserve with a few outings here and there or one that hasn’t raced in 3 or 4 seasons.

  7. So amateur mistake by the team to start gambling with different tyre compounds when it was obvious Hulkenberg needed all the help he could get into the groove, and that would be such an obvious and predictable distraction. Even regular drivers complain about this.

Comments are closed.