Hülkenberg’s thwarted lightning comeback: “Naturally bitter”
Nico Hülkenberg experiences an emotional roller coaster ride. In the short term, he is hired for a Formula 1 comeback by Racing Point – and yet cannot start at the Grand Prix of Great Britain.
Frustrated, Nico Hülkenberg had to explain his prevented lightning comeback in Formula 1 in the paddock. Damage to the engine of his racing point slowed the Rhinelander down before the first round of the Great Britain Grand Prix in Silverstone.
“The power unit was not available,” complained the 32-year-old on the RTL TV station about the technical defect. He wanted to be on the starting grid, but he couldn’t do that “from the start”. “Of course it’s bitter.”
There was a rush at Racing Point before the start of the race. The underbody of Hülkenberg’s car was even removed to find the cause of the problem. The mechanics were not in a hurry to succeed, however, a few minutes before the red lights went out. The car could not drive out of the garage, Hülkenberg had to get out in frustration. His emotional roller coaster ride hit rock bottom.
The weekend had already got off to a crazy start for Hülkenberg. The veteran surprisingly stepped in for the Mexican Sergio Perez, who was infected with the corona virus, and drove the new car onto the track for the first time on Friday, just 15 minutes after his commitment became known. There was less than 24 hours between the request and the sensational return in the racing car.
«I like challenges, and that’s definitely one. I jump in and try to do the best for the team, ”said the Rhinelander after constant stress. And Hülkenberg immediately fitted in as if he hadn’t been away for a long time. At the end of last year, he no longer got a new cockpit at Renault and had to follow the new season as a private individual. Now he even had to borrow a helmet and racing suit at short notice.
In qualifying, Hülkenberg was only 13th. In the race, the Rhinelander, who holds the inglorious record of 177 Grand Prix without a podium, wanted to attack. “I can’t go to the limit completely because there is a little bit of strength behind my neck,” he said before the planned start. “I want to finish the race, I want to see the flag.”
Hülkenberg’s wish was denied. Next week at the second Grand Prix in Silverstone, however, the comeback could still work with a little delay. «Most likely he will contest the next race. But that is not yet 100 percent certain, »Racing Point team boss Otmar Szafnauer told Sky. A decision will be made on Wednesday or Thursday. Only then is it certain whether regular driver Sergio Perez will be released by the doctors after a further corona test to return to the cockpit. Hulkenberg has to wait that long.