Hulkenberg: Circumstances made extracting full Racing Point pace 'very hard'

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Nico Hulkenberg doubts extracting the full potential from the Racing Point was possible after his late call up for the British Grand Prix.

The German managed 11th fastest in qualifying, just missing out on Q3 upon his return to replace Sergio Perez following his positive test for Covid-19 on Thursday.

Though not directly comparable, Hulkenberg was eight-tenths slower than Lance Stroll's best time on soft tyres, but he admits the so-called 'Pink Mercedes' had plenty more to offer.

“I feel there was more potential and I didn’t get everything from the table," he told reporters post-session, "but given the circumstances, it was also very hard, I don’t know if you can expect to get 100% from the car in those circumstances.

"It was small margins. Q3 was not far away. We played around with the different compounds so it was a bit tricky with the rhythm. It is what it is today.”

One benefit from starting P11 is free tyre choice, though as Hulkenberg noted, only a few drivers ahead are forced to start on the less durable soft compound.

“That’s always a good option," he said of the open strategy.

"I think some of the top 10 runners also start on the harder tyre - the medium. It’s going to be interesting to see. For me, so many new inputs and every situation I enter into with the car is new.”

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Finally, the German also commented on the simply immense speed of the 2020 cars, with pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton knocking 0.7s off the previous lap record.

“Let me tell you these cars are beasts!" he said.

"There’s so much downforce. I’ve never felt so much speed in the corners here, so much Gs [G-force] - it’s pretty impressive but also tough.”