Nico Hulkenberg (34) is back on the track!
From Friday to Sunday, “Hülki” will replace regular driver Sebastian Vettel (34) in the first race of the season in Bahrain. Reason: Vettel tested positive for the corona virus and is currently in isolation in Switzerland. Hulkenberg is the reserve driver for Aston Martin.
BILD spoke to Nico Hülkenberg about his lightning comeback!
Nico Hülkenberg: “The call from the team came at around 9:00 a.m., so relatively early this time for my spontaneous short assignments.”
Then: As early as 2020, the German driver spontaneously jumped in when there was a corona infection, replacing Sergio Pérez (32) at Silverstone and Lance Stroll (23) at the Nürburgring.
Hülki continues: “I packed up my seven things, quickly polished my helmet and made my way to the airport.”
Hülkenberg, who is currently working as a substitute driver at Aston Martin and as an expert for the Austrian broadcaster ServusTV, also spoke briefly to the corona-infected Vettel.
Hülki: “I used the time on the way and also called Sebastian Vettel, who told me a bit more about the new car. Of course I wish him a speedy recovery! Replacing him will be anything but easy, but of course I’ll try to make the best of it now.”
And he has already impressively shown that he still has it in his last spontaneous appearances: At the second race in Silverstone 2020, the German, who used to start for Williams, Force India and Renault, drove a strong third in qualifying Place in the Racing Point (today Aston Martin) out.
He was also fully convincing at the Nürburgring in 2020: At that time he started from 20th and last position for Lance Stroll, who was suffering from corona, and was able to advance to eighth place in the race in the Eifel.
For Vettel, however, it is still unclear whether he will also be able to drive in the second race of the season in Jeddah / Saudi Arabia (Sunday, March 27th). The quarantine in Switzerland only lasts five days, but he first has to test negative for the race.