Hulkenberg on standby for Racing Point in Portugal

Nico Hulkenberg is on standby for Racing Point in Portugal this weekend just in case Lance Stroll fails another coronavirus test.

Hulkenberg on standby for Racing Point in Portugal

After it emerged that Stroll tested positive for COVID-19 in the days after the Eifel Grand Prix, Racing Point says it is taking no risks about not having a reserve lined-up.

Hulkenberg had to be drafted in at the last-minute at the Nurburgring after Stroll was taken unwell, with the team initially believing that the Canadian had been struck down by a flu bug rather than coronavirus.

However, Stroll was found to have been infected with the virus when he tested on his return home to Switzerland. Since then he has been in self isolation but, after testing negative earlier this week, is hopeful of being able to return to action this weekend at Portimao.

But with no guarantee that he will be all-clear, Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer says that Hulkenberg has been flown to Portugal just in case.

"Yes, Nico is here," Szafnauer told media on Thursday morning. "And I think other teams have also opted to bring reserve drivers for the first time. I think it just makes sense to have reserve drivers."

Asked if there was a risk of Stroll failing, especially with it possible the Canadian's test earlier this week was a false negative, Szafnauer said: "He had a negative test coming into this weekend. The probability of now getting a positive is low. Is it zero?

"I don't know that much about it, but it's low, you know. Nico is here as a precaution and I'm confident Lance will be in the car this weekend."

Read Also:

Stroll had been taken unwell after the Russian Grand Prix but was convinced he was not suffering from coronavirus ahead of the Eifel GP – and negative tests appears to confirm his suspicions.

Despite his condition deteriorating on the Saturday at the Nurburgring, and him being unable to drive, Stroll elected not to take a test at the venue after his personal doctor said he did not believe he was suffering from the virus.

However, after travelling home, Stroll, as well as his father Lawrence, were confirmed as having contracted COVID-19.

shares
comments

Related video

How an ICU lesson should guide F1's future engine path

Previous article

How an ICU lesson should guide F1's future engine path

Next article

Racing Point to receive FIA warning over Stroll's COVID case

Racing Point to receive FIA warning over Stroll's COVID case
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Portuguese GP
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg
Teams Racing Point
Author Jonathan Noble
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021