Racing Point technical director Andrew Green says he has been impressed by how Nico Hulkenberg has settled back into the Formula 1 team, despite having not driven for the outfit since 2016.
Hulkenberg has been called up to stand in for Sergio Perez, who tested positive for COVID-19, and might also have to replace the Mexican next weekend too.
Green said his return was “seamless” and that his previous experience was part of the reason he was chosen over Esteban Gutierrez.
“We’re not aware of the procedures that went on at Renault, but he’s got a good memory,” said Green. “And I think a lot of the procedures that he was used to when he was driving for us for quite a few seasons haven’t really changed. They might have evolved a bit, but the general principles behind them are all very similar.
“So he did slip into it incredibly seamlessly. It was like he’d never left. Which is the reason why we wanted him in the car in the first place. It’s such short notice we wanted someone who we knew we could get the maximum out of in a very short space of time. So in that respect, it wasn’t that arduous for him. I think the switch was relatively simple.”
Green admitted the team underperformed in qualifying for multiple reasons but was happy with Hulkenberg’s performance, but expected more from Lance Stroll who had previously been at the top in practice, but could only manage sixth, behind the Mercedes, a Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren.
“We lost pace, and there’s a number of areas that we’re looking at. Both drivers thought that the pace was there in the car, and they went to push and it wasn’t there. So that’s something we do need to look at. Definitely a change in climatic conditions is probably a big factor in why we lost some relative pace.
“So we’re going to look into that, where the conditions are again different [for Sunday], and they’ll be different again next week. So we did need to get on top of that. And also question marks over power unit deployment, and we’ll be utilising that to the best of our abilities. So there are lots of areas we didn’t get right. And we can see that we have underperformed for sure.
“With Nico, you can expect that, it’s day two. And he hasn’t done that many laps. So I think he’s done a great job to get to where he’s got to in such a short space of time. I think with Lance, we were definitely expecting a little bit more.”