Nico Hulkenberg’s feedback from his first stint with Racing Point was instrumental to the team’s latest update package, says the team’s technical director Andrew Green.
Deputising for Sergio Perez at the British and 70th Anniversary Grands Prix as a result of the Mexican testing positive for COVID-19, Green explained that Hulkenberg’s contribution went beyond the six championship points he scored on-track.
“Some of the developments that we put on the car were as a direct result of his feedback in Silverstone, which was really interesting,” he told Autosport after the Eifel Grand Prix. “So his feedback after the race [Eifel GP] was very intriguing.
“He mentioned things [at Silverstone] that he would like to be changed in the car, and how we go about setting the car up and the feel he gets from the car.
“And we made those changes after Silverstone, not expecting him ever to get back in the car again and drive it.
“But lo and behold, he does, and we get the feedback about the developments we made on the car, so that was really interesting, and really important.”
However that feedback was something of a double-edged sword for the German, as it meant he had to adapt to the car all over again at the Nurburgring – this time without practice.
“These sort of changes we’re talking about, you can’t adjust to them in four laps, which is basically what he had to do on Saturday afternoon,” Green explained.
“He had four flying laps, and for him to adjust to the changes that we’ve made since Silverstone was going to be nigh on impossible.
“So he needed time in the car, which is what he didn’t have, but by the end of the race, he’d had plenty of time in the car and his feedback was invaluable, which was very good.”
As to the updates themselves, Green confirmed that they had had the desired effect on performance.
“Yes, effectively, [there’s] still work to do but I think we made a good step in the right direction,” he said.
“That is all part of the rear suspension and front suspension changes that we made, which were as a direct result of him driving the car in Silverstone.
“We pulled together all the updates that we planned to do into a significant update for the car.
“And that included front wing, front brake ducts, floor, rear wing endplates, and you can see the sidepods, bodywork, so that was the aerodynamic aspect.
“We did a lot of work on the internals of the rear suspension, and the way that the suspension works, to give us more flexibility, and more options on the rear suspension set-up.
“Also a change to the steering system, as well – all of those updates came between Mugello and Russia, really.”