Nico Hulkenberg has said he was feeling the physical affects of racing in the Formula 1 Eifel Grand Prix after filling in for Lance Stroll at the last minute on Saturday.
Hulkenberg put on the Racing Point overalls for a third time this season, replacing the unwell Lance Stroll on Saturday, and did so with very little notice.
The German was contacted only an hour before qualifying was due to begin, after Stroll made Racing Point aware that he was too unwell to take part, and he made it just in time to take part in qualifying, although due to a lack of practice, he ended up starting the race from last.
But, despite the lack of preparation, Hulkenberg put in an incredible performance in the race, rising through the order to finish the race in eighth position.
Speaking after the race, Hulkenberg commented that he was really happy with his result, but that he was left feeling sore due to the physical and mental demands of the circuit.
“What a race and a story that was! I really didn’t think we could go from last to eighth – I’m not sure many thought it would be possible before the race!” said Hulkenberg.
“A lot of things happened around us and some retirements helped too, but I’m really pleased with our performance and it’s a real credit to the team.
“I went out there with the goal of driving as hard as I could and avoiding any incidents, and we managed it well.
“It felt strange at the start as I’ve not raced around a lot of cars like that for a while, but I made up a couple of places and I started to get into a good rhythm halfway through the first stint, which was crucial because we were able to extend it and it helped me get up to speed.
“I’m feeling it now: it’s a very bumpy track and I’m a bit sore because it was mentally and physically demanding out there.
“I’m very happy with the result and it was great to play a part in the team moving up into P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.”
Racing Point Team Principal, Otmar Szafnauer was equally impressed with Hulkenberg’s result, but hopes the team’s normal driver line-up will resume at the next Grand Prix in Portugal.
“Nico was fully deserving of being voted driver of the day by the fans.” added Szafnauer.
“He was up against it, having only done ten laps in the car prior to the race, so to finish in eighth is a tremendous effort.
“We thank him for standing in for Lance, who is feeling a bit better today and has now returned home to continue his recovery.
“We’re hopeful he will be back to full health in time for the next race in Portugal.”