Team

Feature: Nico’s race to Silverstone

August 1, 2020
2020
Feature
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Inside the race to get Nico into the RP20

What a whirlwind it was to get Nico in the car for Formula 1’s British Grand Prix!

 

First up, we have to thank everyone in the team – both at our factory and at Silverstone – for rising to the challenge to get Nico in the car just in the nick of time for FP1, and a further thanks to the FIA for working us through the process safely and quickly.

 

We were gutted that Checo was unable to carry on his strong start to the 2020 season, but as soon as he tested positive for COVID-19, we sprung into action.

 

Checo was and remains physically well but he moved to self-isolate with the team regularly updated as to his condition.

 

We then looked over our options for who could replace Checo for the British Grand Prix and Nico was a natural choice.


A proven points-scorer, with recent experience of both the team and F1, our boss Otmar was quickly on the phone!

 

"Nico used to race with us a few years ago, so he knows the engineers, he’s been in our simulator before, he knows how we operate, and that’s going to be key to getting up to speed,” explained Otmar.

 

Nico was set for a punditry role over the British Grand Prix weekend and a test drive not long after, but when an F1 drive was mooted – he dropped it all to jump on a plane!

 

“I was on my way to the Nürburgring for another racing project when the call from Otmar came,” said Nico on Friday morning. “That was less than 24 hours ago, so it feels a bit surreal for me right now, but I like a good challenge and this is certainly one.”

 

As soon as Nico landed in the UK, the next phase of the plan kicked into action! First there was the COVID-19 test on arrival and, once it was safe to do, the German was straight to our Dadford factory.

 

There Nico had a seat fitting and the team sourced a set of overalls from Lance (Thanks Lance!) that proved a good fit for our stand-in driver.

As Otmar explained: "We had to get him to England, go through process of making sure he didn’t have the virus, getting a superlicence form - and that’s not all that easy - you have to go to the contract recognition board, and then a super licence."

 

Nico then had a test on Friday morning to confirm he did not have COVID-19 and while the team waited patiently, we went through the process of various paperwork to ensure Nico could jump in the car.

 

The waiting game meant that Nico could become familiar with elements such as the RP20’s steering wheels and all the relevant protocol that could help him get up to speed with the car.

 

Once Nico was confirmed as testing negative for COVID-19, he dashed to the garage and into his overalls!

 

Just over 15 minutes into FP1, Nico took to the track for the first time in the RP20 on the Softs for an installation lap.

 

He then lapped competitively against Lance from the off as he got up to speed with the car, before returning to the garage following his first stint to allow for various adjustments, most notably to his seat.

 

By the end of FP1, Nico had completed over 20 laps and finished P9 in an encouraging start to his Grand Prix weekend.

 

In FP2, Nico found more pace to place P7 and got another 28 laps under his belt.


We can’t wait to see what Nico’s capable of today!

Inside the race to get Nico into the RP20

What a whirlwind it was to get Nico in the car for Formula 1’s British Grand Prix!

 

First up, we have to thank everyone in the team – both at our factory and at Silverstone – for rising to the challenge to get Nico in the car just in the nick of time for FP1, and a further thanks to the FIA for working us through the process safely and quickly.

 

We were gutted that Checo was unable to carry on his strong start to the 2020 season, but as soon as he tested positive for COVID-19, we sprung into action.

 

Checo was and remains physically well but he moved to self-isolate with the team regularly updated as to his condition.

 

We then looked over our options for who could replace Checo for the British Grand Prix and Nico was a natural choice.


A proven points-scorer, with recent experience of both the team and F1, our boss Otmar was quickly on the phone!

 

"Nico used to race with us a few years ago, so he knows the engineers, he’s been in our simulator before, he knows how we operate, and that’s going to be key to getting up to speed,” explained Otmar.

 

Nico was set for a punditry role over the British Grand Prix weekend and a test drive not long after, but when an F1 drive was mooted – he dropped it all to jump on a plane!

 

“I was on my way to the Nürburgring for another racing project when the call from Otmar came,” said Nico on Friday morning. “That was less than 24 hours ago, so it feels a bit surreal for me right now, but I like a good challenge and this is certainly one.”

 

As soon as Nico landed in the UK, the next phase of the plan kicked into action! First there was the COVID-19 test on arrival and, once it was safe to do, the German was straight to our Dadford factory.

 

There Nico had a seat fitting and the team sourced a set of overalls from Lance (Thanks Lance!) that proved a good fit for our stand-in driver.

As Otmar explained: "We had to get him to England, go through process of making sure he didn’t have the virus, getting a superlicence form - and that’s not all that easy - you have to go to the contract recognition board, and then a super licence."

 

Nico then had a test on Friday morning to confirm he did not have COVID-19 and while the team waited patiently, we went through the process of various paperwork to ensure Nico could jump in the car.

 

The waiting game meant that Nico could become familiar with elements such as the RP20’s steering wheels and all the relevant protocol that could help him get up to speed with the car.

 

Once Nico was confirmed as testing negative for COVID-19, he dashed to the garage and into his overalls!

 

Just over 15 minutes into FP1, Nico took to the track for the first time in the RP20 on the Softs for an installation lap.

 

He then lapped competitively against Lance from the off as he got up to speed with the car, before returning to the garage following his first stint to allow for various adjustments, most notably to his seat.

 

By the end of FP1, Nico had completed over 20 laps and finished P9 in an encouraging start to his Grand Prix weekend.

 

In FP2, Nico found more pace to place P7 and got another 28 laps under his belt.


We can’t wait to see what Nico’s capable of today!

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