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MONTMELO, SPAIN - MAY 10: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany and Force India looks on in the garage during final practice ahead of the Spanish F1 Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 10, 2014 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Nico Hulkenberg is staying put at Force India (credit: Getty Images)

Nico Hulkenberg Filling in For Sergio Perez at Silverstone

Nico Hulkenburg is returning to Formula 1.

Following Sergio Perez‘s positive test for COVID-19, Hulkenberg will pilot the BWT Racing Point entry in the British Grand Prix (Aug. 2) at the Silverstone Circuit, the team announced July 31.

It was a last-minute effort to get a replacement in the seat, as Perez’s July 30 announcement came just days before the next grand prix.

The 32-year-old German returns to F1 after last competing in 2019, but he is no stranger to the Racing Point organization. Hulkenberg was on its 2011 roster as a reserve driver and later competed full time for the team in 2012 before returning to the organization for a three-year span between 2014 and 2016.

“I was on my way to the Nurburgring for another racing project when the call came, “Hulkenberg said in a release. “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 teammate, and I wish him a speedy recovery.”

In 177 F1 starts, Hulkenburg has scored one pole, two fastest laps and 511 career points on the circuit during his 10-year career as a driver. Despite his experience, there was a still a significant time crunch on the team’s end.

“There was a lot to do in a little bit of time,” team boss Otmar Szafnauer said. “We had the definitive result yesterday at 2:20 p.m. So from that point on we had to find Hulkenberg, and get him agree to do this, which wasn’t that difficult, I think he was keen.”

Hulkenberg has gotten off to a fast start, slotting ninth in the opening session of practice.

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About Zach Gillispie

It is safe to say that Zach Gillispie has been obsessed with race cars for nearly his entire life. After all, his childhood home was just a stone's throw away from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Since joining Fronstretch in 2018, Zach shares his passion for motorsports with the racing faithful around the country through his unique journalistic voice as one of the site's News Writers. He somehow does it all while juggling duties as a full-time college student, an entrepreneurial businessman and the News Director of a small market radio station.