After qualifying third on Saturday at Silverstone, Racing Point stand-in Hulkenberg looked on course to record a top-five finish after completing his second stop for a fresh set of hard tyres.
Hulkenberg was lapping quicker than both Mercedes drivers at one point and was catching the one-stopping Charles Leclerc, only to be called into the pits for a third time with eight laps remaining.
The stop caused Hulkenberg to drop back to seventh in the final classification, losing positions to Red Bull’s Alexander Albon and Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll.
Racing Point quickly said after the race that Hulkenberg had been struggling with a vibration on his tyres towards the end of the third stint, leaving it with no choice but to bring him in again.
Hulkenberg doubted his tyres would have made it to the end of the race due to the issue.
“We were kind of forced to pit off the prime set,” Hulkenberg explained on Sky Sports F1 after the race.
“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…