Every time the uncontracted Nico Hulkenberg has filled in for Racing Point this season, he has impressed one and all. So much so that former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld believes he should partner Max Verstappen at Red Bull next year.
Racing Point called upon the German driver at the 11th hour to replace an ‘unwell’ Lance Stroll at the Nurburgring.
Despite not a single lap of practice under his belt and expectedly poor performance in qualifying, Hulkenberg more than made up for it in the race. Starting dead last in P20, Nico crossed the checkered flag in a quite wondrous P8.
His previous outing at Silverstone too yielded a solid P7 finish, which could have been even better, had some strategic decisions not gone wrong.
Time and again Hulkenberg has shown why he deserves a seat for next year. Heidfeld thinks that Nico would fare much better compared to the incumbent number 2 at Red Bull, Alex Albon.
He said, “In all honesty, if you look at the facts and the lap times, it is obvious that Albon is falling way too far. A top team like RB simply cannot afford that in the long run.
“Nico Hulkenberg would be exactly the right man for the job alongside Max Verstappen.” (translated by Google)
Heidfeld went on to elaborate. He said, “Red Bull is not looking for someone who can beat Verstappen. Perez or Hulkenberg would be the clear number 2. (But) they are expected to perform consistently.
“I have 100% confidence in Nico. Of course, I would be happy if he could stand up to Max. But my assessment is that there aren’t many on this planet who can hold a candle to Max.
“Nico could meet the expectations 100 percent. With some other teams he would be number one but with RB the perfect number 2.”
The 33-year-old has definitely given a very good reminder of his talent this season. However, it looks as though his duties with Racing Point aren’t done just yet.
Lance Stroll is confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19. This means that Hulkenberg could suit up once again for the Portuguese Grand Prix on the 25th of October.