With Sergio Perez out of action after testing positive for Covid-19, Nico Hulkenberg has emerged as the shock favourite to drive the Racing Point at Silverstone this weekend.
After an inconclusive coronavirus test on Thursday, Perez was forced to self-isolate before being tested again later in the day. The retest yielded a positive result, leaving Perez to quarantine and sit out both Silverstone races.
It has emerged that Nico Hulkenberg is Racing Point’s favourite to sit in for Perez, ahead of reserve drivers Esteban Gutierrez and Stoffel Vandoorne.
Hulkenberg spent five years with Force India, as they were then known, in 2012 and between 2014 and 2016. The Hulk had previously been driving with Renault, his last F1 start the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but lost his seat in 2020 having been ousted by the returning Esteban Ocon.
Although Racing Point don’t have a dedicated reserve driver, they do share Mercedes’ reserve squad in the shape of Esteban Gutierrez and Stoffel Vandoorne. Vandoorne will not be present at Silverstone this weekend due to commitments with Formula E while Gutierrez hasn’t made a Grand Prix start since 2016.
Should Hulkenberg be called back into action, he too will have to undergo testing for coronavirus and finalise a deal with Racing Point for his services.
FIA Race Director Michael Masi has said that official confirmation of the replacement is not expected until Friday. Racing Point will have to make an approach to the FIA who would then approve the change.
This story will be updated when further details are confirmed.