Hulkenberg is back in the RP20 for 70th GP

Michelle Foster

Nico Hulkenberg proved he should still be on the grid says Max Verstappen with P3 for the 70th Anniversary GP.

Nico Hulkenberg will continue to drive for Racing Point at the 70th Anniversary GP after Sergio Perez returned a second positive test.

Perez was forced to sit out the British Grand Prix having tested positive in the build up to the Silverstone race.

The Mexican driver went into self-isolation, insisting that he followed all the protocols laid out by both his team and the FIA when he flew home to visit his mother who had been in an accident.

His place at Silverstone went to former Formula 1 driver Hulkenberg, although the German never started the grand prix as a “sheared bolt” meant the team could not fire up the RP20’s Mercedes engine.

Good news for the German, though, he will have a second opportunity this weekend.

Racing Point has announced that Hulkenberg will continue to drive alongside Lance Stroll, once again standing in for Perez.

“I’m excited to get going again with the team at Silverstone,” said the 32-year-old German.

“Last weekend, it was a real step into the unknown having been away from the team for a few years – and driving a car I’d never driven before.

“I’ve learned a lot in the last week about the RP20, and I am ready to apply my experiences to this weekend.

“Racing at the same track again makes things a bit easier and the team has done a great job in helping me get up to speed.

“I think we can fight for points this weekend, which is definitely my goal.”

He added: “I also want to wish Checo all the best in his recovery.”

Should he take the grid on Sunday, it will be Hulkenberg’s 178th start – or 178th opportunity to take a first F1 podium.

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As for Perez, Racing Point revealed that he ‘returned a positive result he will continue to follow the guidance of Public Health England. He is physically well and recovering.

‘The whole team wishes Sergio and his family well and we look forward to his return.’

Team boss Otmar Szafnauer added: “Nico did a really strong job last weekend after receiving a last-minute call to drive for us at Silverstone, and he proved why he was an obvious choice to stand in for Checo.

“It was a big shame he couldn’t actually take the start of the race last Sunday, but all that hard work will prove very useful for this weekend.

“We miss having Checo with us, but we wish him well and look forward to welcoming him back into the team in the near future.”

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