Nico Hulkenberg would have been “unlikely” to make it to the end of Formula 1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix without his late pit stop after suffering severe vibrations.

After starring in qualifying to land third on the grid at Silverstone, Hulkenberg looked set to seal a top-five finish in his first F1 race since the 2019 season finale in Abu Dhabi until he made an unscheduled third stop with eight laps to go.

The 32-year-old subsequently dropped behind Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll to finish seventh as the Silverstone-based outfit claimed a strong double points haul.

After the race, Racing Point explained the reason behind Hulkenberg’s third stop.

“Nico reported a significant vibration towards the end of the race, hence the call to pit him a third time,” a Racing Point spokesperson said. “Unlikely to have made the flag without it.”

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Hulkenberg said he doubts his tyres would have lasted until the end of the race after the vibrations “skyrocketed” in the closing laps.

"We were kind of forced to pit off the prime set," Hulkenberg explained.

"I think we got a couple of nice big blisters on both rear tyres. The vibration just gets so quickly out of hand that within two, three laps, it just skyrocketed.

"I don't think the tyre would have survived to the end. It was a pity. First half of the race was very under control, very managed.

"The second I got onto the second prime set, that just felt like a different set of tyres, a different compound, and it just didn't work in the end."

Given his race rustiness, Hulkenberg says he expects to feel “a bit sore” in the coming days after completing his first full grand prix race distance in over seven months.

"Luckily these cars have the headrest quite close, so I could rest my head a lot," Hulkenberg said.

"The whole body, back muscles, even the seat is quite tight around the glutes. I'm definitely going to be a bit sore tomorrow morning.

"It was a quiet race, no big fighting, no safety cars, but I'm actually quite grateful. I'm glad it wasn't too action-packed, because it was enough as it was probably."

 

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