Nico Hulkenberg will take Sergio Perez’s place at Racing Point for the British Grand Prix, after Perez tested positive for COVID-19.
Perez did not arrive at Silverstone on Thursday after it was established that he had an inconclusive COVID-19 test, and it was later confirmed that he had received a positive test result.
Although the Mexican driver is well in himself, Government rules mean he must self-isolate for 10 days, and as such, he is unable to take part in this weekend’s British Grand Prix.
It also means that Perez will be unable to contest the second race at Silverstone next weekend, which has been named the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
Former Haas driver, Esteban Gutierrez had been expected to get the drive to replace Perez due to this commitments as a Mercedes reserve driver, but Racing Point decided to turn to Hulkenberg, who last raced in F1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for Renault in 2019.
Speaking about the last minute contact from Racing Point, Hulkenberg said: “I was on my way to the Nürburgring for another racing project when the call from Otmar came.
“That was less than 24 hours ago, so it feels a bit surreal for me right now, but I like a good challenge and this is certainly one.
“It’s obviously a difficult situation for Racing Point and Checo.
“He’s a buddy of mine, an old team-mate and I wish him a speedy recovery.
“I’ll step in and try do the best I can for the team!”
Hulkenberg has previous links with the team, having raced for the Silverstone-based team in two stints, between 2011-2012 and 2014-2016, when they were known as Force India.
He also has the unfortunate record of most Grand Prix starts without a podium result, but with the strong pace shown by Racing Point so far this season, the 32-year-old will be hoping he has an opportunity to put that record to bed over the next two races.
Racing Point is in strong form this season with arguably the third fastest car on the grid, and Lance Stroll secured fourth position for the team last time out at the Hungarian Grand Prix, their best result of the season so far.
The British-based team, owned by Stroll’s father, Lawrence is currently fourth in the constructors’ championship with 40 points, 1 point behind rivals McLaren in third and 13 points ahead of Ferrari, who are fourth.