A sheared bolt caused Hülkenberg’s technical problem

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Racing Point has confirmed that a bolt has caused the problem on Nico Hülkenberg’s RP20 that forced the German to sit out last weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Hülkenberg’s surprising appearance at the British Grand Prix ended in tears after a technical issue prevented him from taking part in the race at Silverstone. The German stepped in for Sergio Perez after the Mexican tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus ahead of last weekend’s grand prix.

While the German settled in quickly at Racing Point after just 50 laps during Friday’s two free practice sessions, he failed to get himself through to the last segment of the qualifying session. The German was unlucky with Racing Point’s RP20’s surprisingly worse-then-expected performance in Great Britain after the Silverstone-based outfit’s car was arguably the second-fastest machine at the Red Bull Ring and the Hungaroring.

However, he was keen to complete a race distance with his car and hoped for good points on Sunday before a technical problem forced him to sit out the race.

Racing Point Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer explained that the team made an investigation into the problem and found out that a bolt caused the issue for Hülkenberg’s RP20.

“It looks like a bolt sheared within the clutch housing and that bolt got caught and therefore wouldn’t allow the internal combustion engine to turn over. I think it’s a bit early to understand why but it did sheer off so it could be a material issue, it could be an over-torque issue.”

“I don’t know, but until you look into all those things: was the bolt brittle, was the material brittle? I don’t know. So we’ll have to understand the root cause and make sure that we fix it,” Szafnauer said.

It is still unknown whether Hülkenberg will get another outing at this weekend's 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone. Racing Point is keen to bring Sergio Perez back to action, but it is still waiting for an answer from the National Health Service to get to know whether the Mexican needs to stay in quarantine for seven or ten days.