Nico Hulkenberg is feeling more comfortable in the Racing Point RP20 after an encouraging Friday at the Formula 1 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
Hulkenberg, who has been drafted in to cover for Sergio Perez, missed last weekend’s British Grand Prix after a rogue bolt in the gearbox casing prevented his car from starting.
It was not definite that the German would be able to have a second opportunity, but with Perez testing positive again for COVID-19 this week, Hulkenberg has got a second opportunity and put in a strong performance in Friday practice.
In Free Practice one, the ex-Renault driver ended up fourth fastest, just shy of being half a second quicker than the second Racing Point of Lance Stroll, and in the second session he was sixth fastest, with Stroll in fifth.
Speaking after both sessions, Hulkenberg said: “I’m feeling a lot more confident in the car: it helped that I was able to be in the simulator last week to prepare for the weekend.
“I’m much more familiar with how the team works and I’m more up to speed behind the wheel.
“It felt like a routine Friday and I was able to extract the pace of the car much more quickly today, which is a big positive.”
Now that Hulkenberg feels more confident in the RP20, he was able to work on the set-up of the car, and believes there is more pace for him to extract from it.
“I’m pleased with today because we were able to try a few things with the set-up of the car, and it helped me adapt to the car.” he added.
“We were then able to work through today’s programme effectively, which gives us a good starting point for the weekend.
“I felt that there was pace to be found on the medium tyre because I didn’t have a totally clean lap, and I left some time on the table at the final corner, but all in all, it was a positive Friday.”