RACE DEBRIEF

    Nico Hulkenberg is to make a sensational last-minute return to F1 - for the second time this season - after he was drafted in to replace an unwell Lance Stroll at Racing Point for the remainder of the Eifel Grand Prix weekend.

    The 33-year-old German, who stood in for Stroll's team mate Sergio Perez at this year's British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix at Silverstone after the Mexican contracted Covid-19, was due to be at his home race at the Nurburgring on broadcasting duties.

    But after Stroll was forced to sit out FP3 on Saturday morning - with the team reporting he was "not feeling 100%" - Hulkenberg made his way directly to the Racing Point motorhome on arrival at the circuit, having completed a rapid Covid test.

    Racing Point subsequently confirmed the switch, saying "Lance didn’t feel 100% this morning and the team took the decision not to run him for the rest of the event.

    "Nico, who previously deputised for Sergio Perez at the Silverstone events, is familiar with the car and team already, and fortunately was in nearby Cologne."

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    Hulkenberg will take part in qualifying for Racing Point after being called up at the last minute to replace Stroll

    Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer added: "He hasn’t turned a wheel here yet so I think we’re going to send him out so he can learn the track, he knows the car, and see if we can get him out of Q1. That’s first and foremost. Once he gets into Q2 by that time you’ve got some laps under your belt, see what he can do.

    "We briefed him, he had a briefing session beforehand, he made it here in good time and the boys got the car ready for him. It’s just the fact that he hasn’t driven this car on this track. He knows the car, he knows the track – but not the combination."

    A previous double-winner at the Nurburgring in his GP2 title-winning season in 2009, Hulkenberg finished 10th for Sauber on F1's last visit to the Nurburgring in 2013.

    The last driver to jump into a car at this late stage of a Grand Prix weekend was Paul Di Resta, who substituted for Felipe Massa at the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix when the Williams driver fell ill.