"The past 24 hours have been very special, crazy and weird, ” he says Nico Hülkenberg. No wonder, since he was still in on Thursday night Germany and was not a Formula 1 driver. However, on Friday, for the first time since 2019, he sat in a Formula 1 car and drove both first simple training za British GP and immediately ranked among the top ten twice.
More, Hülkenberg occupied in the unofficial daily ranking eighth place among twenty drivers in a race car he had never seen from the cockpit before. His teammate Lance stroll set the best time of day. Difference to Hülkenberg: 0,636 seconds.
Team boss Otmar Szafnauer has already assessed performance during the day Hülkenberga as “really good”, especially since the German started the whole Friday program at the last minute: “It was only a quarter of an hour before the first free practice that we had on paper that his coronavirus test was negative. Then we had to get him in the car quickly. ”
Hülkenberg had the first seat test in RP20 then, of course, long gone. A good three hours after a call from Racing Point he was already in England on Thursday night to have his seat adjusted at the team’s Silverstone factory. "And that lasted until two in the morning," he explained Hülkenberg.
“I spent an hour in the simulator at 8 in the morning. We had to get ready, so the night was pretty short. And it was worth it, ” he says Nemec.
Z RP20 race car he drove together in training on Friday 51 rounds and gathered important experience and once again convinced the team of their abilities: "Nico jumped in at the last minute, but his feedback was as good as ever," says the team boss Saffron. It was a typical first day and of course not everything went according to plan. "There are things he likes and things he doesn't like so much," he says Saffron. In general, it is Hülkenberg looked in the car "Quite satisfied."
He himself confirms this impression Hülkenberg. In the car Racing Point RP20 he felt "Quite comfortable"although here "Not home yet", as he says. “But with a new car, you can’t expect that. The first steps were fine. ”
He still has a lot of work to do, especially when it comes to him tire management over a long period of time and fast laps on soft tires. "Soft tires," says “Needs to be used even better. We will work on this overnight to make the most of this weekend. ”
In fact, you should Hülkenberg have a good chance to with Racing Point RP20 achieves a very solid result and even reaches for the podium. It's definitely a car "Incredibly fast," explains the former driver Renault. "You can see really great potential here."
It can also be felt by itself, in the neck and muscles: “I’m in great shape, but on this track, one of the fastest, with such high G-forces, in the heat at 35 degrees Celsius. I was thrown into cold water on one of the hottest days in the UK! It's a big challenge for me, but I'm not running away from this opportunity. "
"It all seems like a movie," about his an unexpected return to F1 explains the German. "You can't believe it," he adds: "I'm looking forward to the weekend now and of course I'll do my best."