STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Nico Hülkenberg: Belgian Grand Prix crash 'clearly my mistake'

Renault driver Nico Hülkenberg says he takes full responsibility for last weekend's spectacular crash at th...

Posted: Aug 31, 2018 1:58 PM
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 1:58 PM

Renault driver Nico Hülkenberg says he takes full responsibility for last weekend's spectacular crash at the Belgian Grand Prix but insists he didn't drive recklessly.

The German driver mistimed his braking point, slamming into the back of Fernando Alonso's car and sending him airborne.

Auto racing

Belgian Grand Prix

Formula One

Motor sports organizations

Motorsports

Motorsports events

Sports and recreation

Sports events

Sports organizations and teams

Alonso's McLaren bounced off Charles Leclerc's halo -- severely damaging the titanium structure of his Sauber car -- and left many wondering how much worse it could have been had the safety device not been there.

"The facts haven't changed. I mean, clearly it didn't look great on television," Hulkenberg told CNN's The Circuit ahead of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix. "The pictures are very spectacular but I don't feel I went recklessly into that corner.

READ: Sebastian Vettel wins Belgian GP after avoiding huge opening corner crash

READ: Formula One's 'halo' device proves worth at Belgian Grand Prix

"It's clearly my mistake and my misjudgment about the grip level there."

Altogether five drivers were forced to retire from the race at Spa as a result of damage sustained in the crash and Hulkenberg readily admits he knew immediately that responsibility for the incident fell on his shoulders -- even if he still can't explain how it happened.

"No no, there is nobody else to blame here," he says with a wry smile. "I accept that and it's fine.

"It was just an odd one, I've had it a few times in my Formula One career situations that will always remain a mystery to you.

"You can't really explain why or what happened. It wasn't my day so I'm looking forward to getting a bit further here this weekend and have a better race."

Monza

Fortunately for Hülkenberg, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza offers him the chance of almost immediate redemption.

Steeped in history, the circuit has staged some of F1's most memorable races and for Hülkenberg -- like for many other drivers on the grid -- it remains one of the highlights on the calendar.

"I like tracks like here, like Brazil, Spa, Hockenheim, Suzuka, just places with a long heritage in Formula One where there have been crazy races," he explained. "Races that wrote history in Formula One.

"There's just something special about these places and Monza is one of them where you drive onto the track and you feel this special vibe.

"You don't approach it differently but every year when you come here you just have to readjust a little bit as a driver. Monza is the last true high-speed circuit (in Formula One)."

New teammate

Earlier this month Daniel Ricciardo shocked F1 by announcing he would be leaving Red Bull at the end of the season to join Renault on a two-year contract.

The Aussie admitted "it was actually one of the toughest life decisions I've made" but said he was ready for a "fresh start somewhere else."

His move sparked what will undoubtedly be an intriguing summer of musical chairs and Hülkenberg believes the addition of a world class driver -- although it will provide him with stern competition -- can only be beneficial.

"I think there wasn't much sign of that happening. It all happened very quickly," he said of Ricciardo's decision. "For Renault to bring on Daniel it's very positive news for me.

"It shows how serious they are about this, about wanting to succeed in Formula One. Puts them a little bit under pressure in a way to build and deliver a better car so I should benefit from that too.

"Daniel is just one of the best drivers on the grid right now and to measure myself with him is a great challenge and a good opportunity for me.

"I think that's to be seen but I don't think I have to hide but for sure it's not going to be easy. He's in good form and probably also in the sweet spot of his career so it's going to be interesting to see."

Huntsville
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Florence
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 68°
Fayetteville
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Decatur
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 63°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 152272

Reported Deaths: 2621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22300372
Mobile14273314
Tuscaloosa9886132
Montgomery9615196
Madison895192
Shelby700260
Lee643066
Baldwin636967
Marshall425348
Calhoun408459
Etowah399149
Morgan393232
Houston362332
DeKalb313326
Elmore308152
St. Clair276742
Limestone268327
Walker264192
Talladega253634
Cullman223923
Lauderdale204340
Autauga198928
Franklin198131
Jackson197914
Russell18993
Colbert188927
Dallas184527
Blount182723
Chilton178731
Escambia170328
Covington164429
Coffee16299
Dale161551
Pike130112
Tallapoosa126986
Chambers126643
Clarke126116
Marion103929
Butler99640
Barbour9819
Marengo96421
Winston88613
Geneva8297
Pickens79317
Randolph79314
Lawrence78830
Bibb78513
Hale73729
Cherokee71414
Clay70312
Lowndes69827
Bullock63417
Henry6286
Monroe6259
Washington62012
Crenshaw58830
Perry5796
Conecuh55413
Wilcox55412
Fayette54012
Macon52819
Cleburne5207
Sumter46421
Lamar4555
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 228744

Reported Deaths: 2909
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby33996551
Davidson29425325
Knox1167986
Hamilton10983102
Rutherford10866106
Williamson648448
Sumner5551107
Wilson431853
Putnam407952
Montgomery378451
Out of TN361834
Madison359978
Unassigned35753
Bradley336821
Sevier312420
Sullivan310344
Blount306731
Washington299143
Maury297635
Robertson246239
Hamblen231643
Tipton217122
Gibson203537
Dyer199526
Hardeman177332
Trousdale17277
Coffee172020
Obion163017
Bedford157320
Wayne15537
Anderson154413
Dickson153518
Loudon152510
Fayette150521
Greene149249
Cumberland147724
McMinn147132
Jefferson144518
Lawrence142917
Weakley142925
Carter139832
Henderson134625
Warren13269
Monroe131923
Hardin130219
Lauderdale129218
Macon125524
Franklin119015
Haywood118325
Roane11696
Overton110611
Carroll108624
McNairy108325
Hawkins108023
Johnson10786
White107014
Marshall10238
Rhea102016
Lake9623
Cheatham95511
Smith93013
Bledsoe9174
Cocke91312
Giles88031
Campbell8497
Fentress8467
Lincoln7942
Crockett75120
Henry73610
Hickman72713
Chester71014
Marion6849
DeKalb66916
Decatur62011
Grainger5264
Grundy5048
Claiborne4926
Union4902
Polk46013
Jackson4155
Morgan4046
Humphreys4024
Benton3829
Cannon3812
Houston37914
Clay3629
Unicoi3461
Lewis3292
Sequatchie3214
Scott3144
Stewart3057
Meigs2904
Moore2412
Pickett2405
Perry1961
Van Buren1911
Hancock1123

Community Events