Hulkenberg voted F1’s Driver of the Day after finishing 8th
Last Updated: 11/10/20 6:31pm
Late Racing Point call-up Nico Hulkenberg remarkably now has as many top-eight finishes in F1 2020 as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel after a starring drive in the Eifel GP, while Sergio Perez rued a missed podium.
Hulkenberg, eighth on Sunday when filling in for an unwell Lance Stroll and seventh in his only other race this season at Silverstone, also has only seven fewer points than Vettel despite competing in nine fewer Grands Prix.
The German compatriots had vastly different Nurburgring races. Super-sub Hulkenberg, who replaced Stroll without any practice this weekend, was voted as F1’s Driver of the Day on Sunday after rising from 12 spots from 20th on the grid, while Vettel was only 11th of 15 finishers for Ferrari.
Hulkenberg passed Vettel, who spun and struggled, and told Sky F1: “A successful result. Obviously totally unexpected, but totally appreciated.”
Vettel’s top-eight finishes this season have only come in Hungary (6th) and Spain (7th), and his Eifel GP woes were illuminating given Charles Leclerc’s speed in the same Ferrari, qualifying fourth and finishing seventh.
Hulkenberg, meanwhile, capped off a strong race-day result for Racing Point, with Sergio Perez up in fourth.
But Perez was frustrated not to get on the podium. The Mexican appeared to be successfully hunting down Daniel Ricciardo, before a late Safety Car reset the tyre strategies.
“I’m gutted because I felt a podium was in my hands,” said Perez.
“I was catching Ricciardo at a very fast speed, and I think it was going to be very close towards the end, him on very old tyres. At the restart, it was again very close. But I couldn’t get him.”