Hulkenberg fails to start British GP due to car issue

Nico Hulkenberg failed to start the British Grand Prix after being sidelined by a late power unit issue shortly before going to the grid

Hulkenberg fails to start British GP due to car issue

Hulkenberg was drafted in at late notice to make his Formula 1 comeback this weekend at Silverstone after Racing Point driver Sergio Perez tested positive for COVID-19.

It marked a shock return to F1 for Hulkenberg after losing his Renault seat at the end of last year to Esteban Ocon, leaving him without a drive for 2020.

After turning his first laps in an F1 car since the beginning of December in opening practice on Friday, Hulkenberg qualified 13th in the RP20, narrowly missing out on a spot in Q3.

Technical director Andrew Green remarked that the German, who previously raced with the team under its former guise as Force India, had settled in so quickly at the British Grand Prix it was "like he'd never left".

Insight: How Hulkenberg won the race against time for his shock F1 return

But Hulkenberg was denied the chance to take the start after an issue with his Mercedes power unit emerged ahead of the race, preventing the Racing Point mechanics from firing up the car.

Hulkenberg's crew was seen packing up on the grid while the team worked to try and rectify the problem that would allow him to start the race from the pit lane.

"We were unable to fire up the power unit, and investigations are ongoing as to why," a team spokesman told Autosport.

It leaves just 19 cars in the field for the British Grand Prix, with Racing Point fielding only Lance Stroll, who will start the race from sixth place.

Hulkenberg has only once previously failed to start a grand prix through his F1 career, coming at the 2013 season opener in Australia when his Sauber car was sidelined by a fuel feed issue.

The German driver was seen joining the Racing Point engineers on the pit wall for the start of the race, having changed out of his race suit and back into team gear.

Hulkenberg had been looking to score his first F1 points since last year's United States Grand Prix, when he finished ninth, having failed to record a top-10 finish in either of his lat two Renault appearances.

Hulkenberg said on Friday he saw "huge potential" in the Racing Point RP20 car, calling it "massively quick", and was left disappointed with his qualifying effort.

Racing Point is awaiting clarification on how long Perez must remain quarantined after his positive COVID-19 test result, but has confirmed Hulkenberg will race at Silverstone next week should Perez be unavailable.

shares
comments
Todt: “Inappropriate” to force F1 drivers into gestures they are uncomfortable with
Previous article

Todt: “Inappropriate” to force F1 drivers into gestures they are uncomfortable with

Next article

F1 British GP: Hamilton holds on after last lap tyre failure for Silverstone win

F1 British GP: Hamilton holds on after last lap tyre failure for Silverstone win
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

Formula 1
Jan 27, 2023
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023