Nico Hülkenberg was disappointed on Saturday after qualifying for the Grand Prix of Great Britain. The substitute for Sergio Pérez at Racing Point, infected with the COVID-19 virus, must start thirteenth on Sunday.

"It was perhaps a utopia to think that everything would go smoothly," Hülkenberg told Sky . "It was not easy to find my rhythm in qualifying."

The German, who had to be flown in on Thursday when it turned out that Pérez had tested positive, was a few tenths slower than teammate Lance Stroll at Silverstone in every session.

Saturday the curtain fell for Hülkenberg in Q2. The differences were small: he was only six hundredths short of a place in the first ten.

"It is a great pity that I was just that little bit slower," he was disappointed. "There was certainly more to get out of this car."

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F1 preview: 'Pérez is proof that corona protocol works'

Hülkenberg does not yet know whether he will drive next week

It was not a great qualification for the 'pink Mercedes' anyway, because Stroll did not get further than sixth place. With the controversial copy of the Mercedes champion car, the British team managed to raise eyes earlier this season.

"We have to do our best to do better on Sunday in the race. The differences are very small, so there are plenty of opportunities," said 32-year-old Hulkenberg.

He could not yet say whether his performance at Silverstone will be continued this weekend. That depends on how long Pérez has to stay in isolation. The fifth race of the season will be held on the same track next week.

The GP of Great Britain starts on Sunday at 3.10 p.m.

See also: Weather Silverstone: Dry weekend with large temperature differences