Nico Hulkenberg is close to returning to former team Racing Point as a replacement for Sergio Perez at the British Grand Prix and following round at Silverstone.
Perez tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday, ruling him out of this weekend’s race and next weekend’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix due to UK regulations that specify anyone testing positive must quarantine for 10 days. That regulation was only announced a matter of hours before Perez’s positive test – having previously been seven days – and leaves Racing Point needing a replacement for two races.
Although Racing Point has an agreement with Mercedes to use either Esteban Gutierrez or Stoffel Vandoorne if required, RACER understands Hulkenberg is set to partner Lance Stroll at the team he raced for in 2012 and again from 2014-16.
Hulkenberg lost his seat at Renault at the end of last season as Esteban Ocon was brought in alongside Daniel Ricciardo and has not raced since, but is already in the UK and undergoing the necessary tests to be permitted to drive for his former team.
It is understood a seat fitting is taking place at the team’s factory – conveniently located at Silverstone – ahead of an expected announcement on Friday morning ahead of first practice.
The German won the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours on debut for Porsche, but in 177 starts in Formula 1, Hulkenberg has so far yet to finish on the podium, with a best result of fourth place that he achieved on three occasions.