Hulkenberg backs temporary teammate Stroll

Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll

(GMM) Nico Hulkenberg has backed his current F1 teammate Lance Stroll.

Hulkenberg was drafted onto the Racing Point lineup at the eleventh hour last weekend, when race regular Sergio Perez tested positive for coronavirus.

RTL in Germany is reporting that the 32-year-old German will be back in the 'pink Mercedes' this weekend.

His teammate for now is therefore Lance Stroll, the son of team owner Lawrence Stroll. Stroll, 21, is regularly dismissed as being only in F1 because of his father's wealth and connections.

However, after Hulkenberg could not even start last Sunday's race with a technical problem, he now refuses to join those who say Stroll's solo performance was weak as he finished just ninth last Sunday.

"Lance was really unlucky," Hulkenberg told Auto Motor und Sport. "He was driving in traffic all the time.

"It would have been really interesting to see what speed he would have had otherwise."

For his part, Stroll said the criticism doesn't get to him.

"There were some tough times earlier in my Formula 1 career where things didn't go as planned," said the Canadian, who in 2017 and 2018 debuted for Williams.

"But this season I have started to see a positive change and it really reminded me of my love of racing," Stroll is quoted by Le Journal de Montreal.

"This is the best car I've had in Formula 1 and it's my best season so far. There will always be criticism and I think that's just part of F1.

"Considering where I'm from, it's understandable that people denigrate me, but at the end of the day I know my skills," he said.

"By winning several championships and working hard to get to where I am now, I have proved myself. No one can take any of that away from me.

"I reply on the track, and that's all I can really do."

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