After a horrible lock-up before Turn 1 at Spa, one which ended the races of Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc, Nico Hulkenberg has accepted the blame for the crash and seemed calm at the end of it all.
“No problem, it’s just incredible to find out again on lap one how sensitive these cars are with aerodynamics, when you have a few cars that bunch up in front of you how much grip and load you lose,” Hulkenberg told Sky Sports.
He also went on to explain what really happened. “When I hit the brakes, I instantly locked up the front wheels and just [slid] into Fernando [Alonso]….probably misjudgement from my side, a bit too late on the brakes, a bit too keen.”
“It’s frustrating obviously for him, for Charles as well, but also for myself.”
Alonso, who endured a similar crash at the same venue in 2012, was waiting for what the FIA decided post the race. However, the other victim, Charles Leclerc, was a bit more toned down in his comments.
“I don’t know if it’s a problem or if it’s a mistake by him [Hulkenberg], and anyway I’m not the one to take the decisions, but for sure it was a little bit too much,” said Leclerc. He also admitted that the halo played its part.
“The halo probably helped today but it’s very unfortunate. I think the potential of the race today was big and it’s a shame to finish the race that way in the first corner.”
The statement confirms that Hulkenberg did not have a brake failure after all and the incident was entirely his doing. It capped off a miserable weekend for Renault, as the other car of Carlos Sainz also failed to finish in the points.
Hulkenberg will be desperate to put this behind him and enter the Italian Grand Prix next week with a clear mind. Alonso too will be looking to do the same, as this is most likely his last race at both Spa and Monza. His final Spa memory might not be great but he’d definitely want Monza to be sweeter.