Nico Hulkenberg has revealed he was only notified that his services were needed at Racing Point four hours before the start of qualifying at the Eifel Grand Prix.
The German filled in for an unwell Lance Stroll on Saturday, marking the third time in 2020 he has been a sub for Racing Point after he replaced Sergio Perez at both Silverstone races.
At Silverstone, Hulkenberg was informed that he would be needed the night before practice got underway.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1, the 33-year-old explained that the situation was much more tight this time around, as he was relaxing with a friend in Cologne this morning before getting the call.
“It was even crazier and wilder than last time,” Hulkenberg said. “I was in Cologne, about an hour from here [at the circuit].
“I was due to come here this afternoon anyways, I was going to do some TV stuff with [German broadcaster] RTL tomorrow.
“I sat with a friend at 11am for a coffee when I saw that Otmar is ringing me. He says ‘Hulkenberg hurry, we need you here’. I stepped in the car, came here and the rest is history.
“We saw what happened now. 2.0 return in the moment of a heartbeat.”
Hulkenberg set just four hot laps in qualifying and ended up as the session’s slowest driver but was only half a second away from making Q2, and within sight of team-mate Perez.
“The car felt quite different to Silverstone,” he said. “[It’s a] completely different circuit, the car has moved on too.
“There’s a couple of technical bits that are very different that give the driver different sensations, so I had to adjust around that a bit and just find my feet again.
“Obviously in four laps, that’s not so easy. All in all, even though I’m last I’m quite pleased with the laps we produced just now.”
However, Hulkenberg says he is expecting to endure a tough race on Sunday as he continues to find his rhythm behind the wheel.
[It] still means that tomorrow is going to be very difficult and a hell of a challenge,” he said.
“We’ll do what we can. Obviously I have the experience, the four laps in the pocket now. They’ll sink in, so tomorrow we’ll just go racing and see what we get.”