Nico Hulkenberg will race in the Eifel Grand Prix in place of the unwell Lance Stroll after another last-minute call-up.
Stroll was reported as unwell on Saturday morning and missed FP3 at the Nurburgring as a result. Given both Friday sessions were cancelled, Stroll’s absence hinted at the severity of his illness, with Racing Point calling Hulkenberg to the track in case he was needed.
Hulkenberg undertook a rapid COVID-19 test and only entered the paddock less than 90 minutes before the start of qualifying, but with 50 minutes to go Racing Point confirmed he will replace Stroll for both qualifying and the race.
Formula 1 regulations state the driver that qualifies the car must race it, although Hulkenberg is able to turn his first laps during the qualifying practice session. A driver who misses qualifying can only race if they have taken part in practice and set acceptable lap times.
The substitute appearance is Hulkenberg’s third of the season for Racing Point, after he was brought in as a replacement for Sergio Perez when the Mexican tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the British Grand Prix. On that occasion, Hulkenberg was a late arrival at the start of FP1 and didn’t get to start the race due to a power unit problem, but stayed in the seat for the following round at Silverstone where he qualified third and finished seventh.
The last time a replacement driver turned their first laps during a qualifying session was at the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix, when Paul di Resta was drafted in by Williams to replace Felipe Massa, who was suffering from dizziness at the Hungaroring.