Nico Hulkenberg felt “much more at home” with Racing Point during his second Friday Formula 1 practice appearance after deputising for Sergio Perez again at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix.
Ex-Renault F1 driver Hulkenberg was drafted in at the last minute for the British Grand Prix last weekend when Perez tested positive for COVID-19, ruling the Mexican out of action, although Hulkenberg didn’t get to race due to a clutch problem before the start.
Racing Point confirmed on Friday morning that Hulkenberg would continue to drive for the team in the second Silverstone race with Perez still returning a positive COVID-19 result.
Hulkenberg finished fourth in opening practice before taking sixth overall in the afternoon session, finishing within three-tenths of a second of team-mate Lance Stroll.
The German explained how he felt much more at home in the Racing Point RP20 car after last weekend’s running, when he was forced to jump in at the last minute in place of Perez.
“It was much better, much more familiar with the whole situation inside the car,” Hulkenberg said.
“Obviously you know kind of what to expect much more than one week ago.
“I felt much more at home straightaway, physically also much better. A much more round and expected Friday.”
Hulkenberg said the “pace was there straightaway” with the car in Friday’s running as he did not need to get up to speed, but felt there was still more time to be found over his qualifying simulations.
“On the option tyre today, the lap wasn’t that clean,” Hulkenberg explained.
“Especially on the last corner, I lost a bit of time.
“But no, I’m pretty happy and confident in the car, I have to say. [I’m] quite pleased with that, I think we can definitely build on that from there today.”
Hulkenberg revealed he had used the time between the two Silverstone races to complete some sessions in Racing Point’s simulator, allowing him to acclimatise to the RP20 car.
“We’ve used the last couple of days to prepare as much and as good as we can,” Hulkenberg said.
“I’ve been in the simulator twice, and that’s certainly kind of helped. We’ve tried a couple of things with the car, with the set-up, that cleaned up some of the questions we had.
“That was confirmed today, and the programme today, we got through quite cleanly, so it was all good.”