The most unfortunate event led to the comeback of one much appreciated figure in the F1 paddock. Due to Sergio Perez being tested positive to COVID-19 a week ago, the team Racing Point had to adjust rapidly and call for a replacement to its Mexican driver. They called Nico Hulkenberg to fill Checo's shoes, and the German driver duly obliged. He joined the Silverstone track, to race at the British Grand Prix. He then qualified P13, 0.6 tenths adrift of his teammate Lance Stroll. Unfortunately on Sunday, an engine failure on his RP20 stopped him from taking the start of the race.
Entering the 70th anniversary Grand Prix weekend, Checo has been tested positive for COVID-19 again on Thursday, wich meant Nico Hulkenberg got one more chance to prove himself. And he didn't disappoint. He qualified P3, just one spot behind the mighty Mercedes cars of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton. He out qualified the RedBull of Max Verstappen and the Renault of Daniel Ricciardo respectively by 0.9 tenths and 2,1 tenths, and his teammate by almost 3,5 tenths of a second.
When interviewed after the qualifying session, the German recalled some thrilling past couple of days:
"A crazy last seven, eight days or whatever it is now," said the German. "Last week the high to come back, and then the low on Sunday, so very extreme. This weekend I felt much better obviously, in the car, much more prepared.
"Qualy was still tricky. In Q2 I made life hard for myself a bit, and I was a bit scared that I damaged the car."
"And then Q3 was just head down, full beans, whatever I had. A bit surprised to be honest to stand here, but obviously a big smile on my face. But also a lot of respect for the race tomorrow."
"That's definitely going to hurt some more, not having last week's experience, and not having gone through the motions there with the start and everything, because it's still new with this car. But we'll do what we can. I'll try to learn fast and to keep the car where it deserves to be."
When Paul Di Resta asked him about his prospects of landing in a seat for next year he said: "Well it's only Saturday, there's always Sunday obviously that matters most. It's definitely one of those nice little highlights, but it's no time to cheer yet, because tomorrow is the big day."