On the evening of Thursday 30th July, it was confirmed that Sergio Perez would be sitting out the next two Grand Prix after testing positive for COVID-19. Nico Hülkenberg will replace the Mexican driver after losing his F1 drive to Esteban Ocon last year.
Sergio Perez has tested positive for COVID-19 despite the protective measures that have been put in place. As a result, he and members of his team have been placed in self isolation. This could have huge ramifications for the rest of his season. Perez is 6th in the standings, only 4 points behind 4th place Lando Norris. Furthermore, Perez could have missed out on his strongest chance of a podium in 2020. The ‘Pink Mercedes’ is predicted to be the 2nd fastest car around Silverstone this weekend.
When this information was made public during Thursday evening, speculation ran wild as to who would replace him. Yet another twist in the most unique F1 season to date.
Nico Hülkenberg’s name was mentioned from the offset and this rumour gained traction as he appeared at Silverstone at 9am Friday morning. This was exacerbated further as the German broadcasting company RTL confirmed that Hülkenberg was due to report on the British GP, but would no longer be taking part. It was finally confirmed 5 minutes before FP1. An incredibly close call.
Nico Hülkenberg’s departure from F1 came after Renault picked Esteban Ocon to replace the German driver for the 2020 season. Despite a respectable career in F1, Hülkenberg never had his ‘breakthrough’ moment, despite a pole position in his maiden season. He currently holds the unenviable record of most GP starts without a podium finish. This comeback could be his best opportunity to finally finish in the top 3. It will also mark the 5th different constructor that he has raced for, although he had a significant tenure with this team under it’s Force India title.
A mouth watering prospect for the next two races, and possibly a chance for redemption for a well respected driver.
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