Wolff overlooks new rule: 'Mercedes reserve cannot fill in'

04-08-2020 08:39 | Updated: 04-08-2020 08:43
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Wolff overlooks new rule: 'Mercedes reserve cannot fill in'

To the surprise of many, Nico Hulkenberg replaced Sergio Perez at the British Grand Prix. Racing Point has the reserves of Mercedes at their disposal, but Toto Wolff has discovered that they cannot be used.

On Thursday before the Grand Prix of Great Britain it became clear that Perez couldn't race because he got infected with the coronavirus. As a result, the focus was quickly turned to the reserves of Mercedes; Esteban Gutierrez and Stoffel Vandoorne. Both, however, are currently unable to take action.

New rules hinder Gutierrez

''Esteban would have been a great candidate for the seat, but he didn't meet the requirements. There is a new rule that after three years of not racing in an official event, a driver does not regain his license until he does a 300 kilometre test'', Toto Wolff said to Racefans.net.

Gutierrez was part of the Formula 1 grid for the last time in 2016 and hasn't raced a single meter in a Formula 1 car since then. Hulkenberg did meet the requirements and was able to show up as a replacement for Perez. However, it is a problem for Mercedes, who now have a spare driver who can't race.

Who will replace Hamilton?

With Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes has another option, but that will be in Berlin next week for the closing season of Formula E. So should anything happen to Valtteri Bottas or Lewis Hamilton, the reigning champion doesn't have a direct replacement.

''We didn't specifically look at this new rule because we assumed that a driver with such a track record would be allowed to come into action. We can give Gutierrez that test, but not before next weekend. So we'll see how we solve this, because it's a shame that Gutierrez missed this opportunity. Of course I never hope that we need a spare driver, but we need a solution to this'', concludes the team boss of Mercedes.

Check out the latest news

You will be logged out and redirected to the homepage