Hulkenberg to replace Vettel again in Saudi Arabian F1 GP

Nico Hulkenberg will remain at Aston Martin for this weekend's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel sidelined for the second Formula 1 race in succession after contracting COVID-19.

Nico Hulkenberg, Aston Martin

It will be Hulkenberg's fifth race of the COVID-19 era as a stand-in after his three starts with the then Racing Point team in 2020.

An Aston Martin statement said: "Nico Hulkenberg will practice, qualify and race alongside Lance Stroll.

"Despite lack of mileage in the AMR22 Nico coped well in Bahrain and we are sure he will do likewise in Jeddah.

"We expect Sebastian Vettel to be fit for the Australian GP."

Vettel returned to Switzerland after the Bahrain test and tested positive for COVID prior to his planned return for the race.

Vettel's continued absence isn't necessarily down purely to a lack of a negative PCR test, as one is no longer required by the FIA, and nor is one required to fly to Saudi Arabia.

Appendix 6 of the International Sporting Code  which governs COVID matters, says: "Fit to Attend means that Attendee in question has no Covid-19 risk factors that mean they should not attend Covered Events, nor are they suffering from Covid-19 Symptoms.

"More specifically, confirmation by a Stakeholder [team] that an Attendee is Fit to Attend a Covered Event means that the Attendee has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19."


Hulkenberg will be much better prepared for this weekend's race. He arrived in Bahrain late on Thursday night, and having done no testing with the 2022 car. He finished the race in 17th and last position.

On Sunday evening he travelled to the UK, where he had the chance to sample the Jeddah track on the Aston Martin simulator earlier this week.

He then waited on standby before getting the confirmation to travel to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday evening as Vettel's participation was still in doubt.

He arrived via Dubai at around 10am on Thursday and thus spent a full day of preparation with the team, including engineering meetings and a track walk in the evening.

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