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
85° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 89°
Florence
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 89°
Fayetteville
Clear
82° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 86°
Decatur
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 88°
Scottsboro
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 86°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12743242
Mobile9565206
Montgomery6521148
Madison525030
Tuscaloosa410371
Unassigned347461
Baldwin344323
Shelby320133
Marshall309034
Lee262844
Morgan233017
Etowah207530
DeKalb177113
Calhoun170413
Elmore169438
Walker150264
Houston136412
Russell13422
Dallas131123
St. Clair131016
Limestone128413
Franklin125820
Cullman120112
Colbert115613
Lauderdale113917
Autauga106521
Escambia105416
Talladega98613
Jackson9454
Tallapoosa84979
Chambers83538
Dale82323
Blount7743
Chilton7676
Butler75935
Coffee7475
Covington72620
Pike6907
Barbour5695
Lowndes56724
Marion56724
Marengo54614
Clarke4969
Hale46726
Bullock45411
Winston44411
Perry4364
Wilcox41810
Bibb4164
Monroe4154
Randolph39410
Pickens3849
Conecuh38210
Sumter36218
Lawrence3441
Macon33213
Washington32712
Crenshaw3133
Choctaw27912
Cherokee2637
Geneva2550
Henry2523
Greene25011
Clay2495
Lamar2172
Fayette1985
Cleburne1251
Coosa1012
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 118782

Reported Deaths: 1206
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby22635302
Davidson20185212
Rutherford640453
Hamilton597052
Knox440737
Williamson344825
Sumner336573
Unassigned30809
Out of TN284216
Wilson222923
Montgomery188313
Bradley187412
Sevier18307
Putnam171717
Trousdale15826
Robertson152119
Hamblen137214
Blount124310
Washington12002
Tipton11839
Maury11787
Madison102417
Sullivan93312
Bedford90811
Hardeman87517
Macon85613
Lake7820
Loudon7183
Bledsoe6901
Fayette6708
Gibson6705
Anderson6686
Dickson6662
Dyer6197
Cheatham5737
Jefferson5523
Henderson5472
Lawrence5346
McMinn52420
Rhea5221
Obion5194
Coffee5073
Warren4984
Carter4976
Lauderdale4878
Haywood4576
Hardin4538
Cocke4502
Greene4477
Smith4464
Hawkins4357
Roane4332
Cumberland4126
Monroe4079
Weakley3974
Giles36913
McNairy3665
DeKalb3392
Franklin3134
Carroll2903
Marshall2833
Lincoln2761
White2735
Henry2660
Crockett2604
Johnson2580
Claiborne2550
Hickman2530
Campbell2391
Wayne2252
Marion2164
Chester2112
Decatur1983
Polk1953
Grainger1940
Overton1751
Unicoi1560
Union1500
Cannon1420
Benton1391
Humphreys1203
Jackson1181
Scott1180
Grundy1112
Morgan1031
Sequatchie1020
Meigs1010
Fentress880
Hancock781
Perry770
Clay740
Stewart730
Lewis711
Moore600
Houston570
Van Buren350
Pickett311

Community Events