BWT Racing Point jumps to 3rd in constructors after Perez fourth and ‘incredible Hulk eighth

The BWT Racing Point team, partnered by Acronis, continued its fine form in the 2020 Formula One season as Sergio Perez again finished just shy of the podium in fourth position and ‘super-sub’ Nico Hulkenberg charged through the field from last on the grid to a brilliant P8 at the Eifel GP.

Perez, who was also just shy of the podium in Sochi, felt he could even have gone one better but for a late Safety Car situation when he was catching eventual podium finisher Daniel Ricciardo, allowing the Australian to pit for fresh rubber.

“I’m a little bit frustrated because I felt the podium was ours if we didn’t have the safety car,” said Perez. Until that point, I was catching Daniel [Ricciardo] and he was on older tyres – so it was set up for a close battle for the podium in the final laps. Once again, the first stint was crucial to our result. We made a good start and gained a place, and we were able to manage the tyres to run longer, so we had an advantage for the second stint.

“After the safety car, I was able to pressure Daniel and I almost got him into Turn 4 but I wasn’t able to make it stick. To finish P4 is a strong result and the team did a great job to go into a race full of unknowns and read the conditions so well. I’m pleased to see Nico score points as well and we’ve ended up turning what could have been a really difficult day into a strong result. The car is performing well and we can be proud of our recovery today. I’m going to catch up with Lance on the phone later and we’re looking forward to him returning.”

For Hulkenberg, it was another rollercoaster ride of a weekend, having stepped in for the unwell Lance Stroll at short notice. The German, who also filled in for Perez when the Mexican was hit with COVID-19, missed practice and dived straight into qualifying, starting last on the grid.

But a successful two stop strategy saw him charge through the field and secure more points that means Racing Point now jumps to third in the constructors’ standings.

“What a race and a story that was! I really didn’t think we could go from last to eighth – I’m not sure many thought it would be possible before the race! A lot of things happened around us and some retirements helped too, but I’m really pleased with our performance and it’s a real credit to the team,” said Hulkenberg. “I went out there with the goal of driving as hard as I could and avoiding any incidents, and we managed it well. It felt strange at the start as I’ve not raced around a lot of cars like that for a while, but I made up a couple of places and I started to get into a good rhythm halfway through the first stint, which was crucial because we were able to extend it and it helped me get up to speed.

“I’m feeling it now: it’s a very bumpy track and I’m a bit sore because it was mentally and physically demanding out there. I’m very happy with the result and it was great to play a part in the team moving up into P3 in the Constructors’ Championship. Obviously, there’s still a long way to go in the season, but I wish the team all the best in the coming races.”

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.