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Hulkenberg lives up to 'super-sub' tag  

Nico Hulkenberg raced through the field to finish eighth at the Eifel Grand Prix
Nico Hulkenberg raced through the field to finish eighth at the Eifel Grand Prix WOLFGANG RATTAY POOL/AFP
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Nürburgring (Germany) (AFP)

Nico Hulkenberg lived up to his 'super-sub' nickname on Sunday as he raced from 20th and last on the grid to finish eighth for Racing Point at the Eifel Grand Prix.

Just 24 hours after being called in from a Cologne cafe to replace sick Canadian driver Lance Stroll, the German climbed through the field to claim points for his team.

"What a race – and what a story," he said after being voted driver of the day. "But I am feeling it now.

"It's a bumpy track and I am bit sore because it was mentally and physically demanding out there."

Hulkenberg was called up to drive Stroll's car in Saturday's qualifying at less than four hours' notice and proved up to the task, as he had at Silverstone when he came in to substitute for Sergio Perez.

"I really didn't think we could go from last to eighth," he admitted. "I am not sure many people thought that was possible before the race, but a lot of things happened around us and some retirements helped too.

"I am really pleased with our performance and it is also a great credit to the team."

Team boss Otmar Szafnauer said: "Nico deserved to be voted driver of the day by the fans – he was up against it, having done only ten laps before the race so to finish P8 is a tremendous effort."

Szafnauer added that Stroll was feeling better and had returned home to continue his recovery.

Stroll faced criticism, however, from fellow-Canadian and 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve who said that a stomach upset, as suggested by Szafnauer earlier Sunday, was a poor excuse for missing a race.

"Even if you have a stomach ache, or have not eaten for a week, you still go racing," he told Sky Italia.

"If you're really hungry to make it in Formula One, you're always going to race and not quit. So either Lance is in a lot of real pain, which means he has something bad, or he simply doesn't have the absolute will to make it."

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