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 2:58 PM
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 2:58 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."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 324537

Reported Deaths: 5594
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion44186858
Lake28094462
Allen18660301
Elkhart17663230
St. Joseph17256234
Hamilton13612170
Vanderburgh10028121
Tippecanoe896729
Porter855386
Johnson6718169
Hendricks6412158
Vigo625889
Monroe550450
Clark531078
Madison5239122
Delaware5075103
LaPorte481196
Kosciusko475941
Howard364177
Bartholomew335365
Warrick335372
Floyd329478
Wayne325678
Marshall311846
Cass303931
Grant287150
Hancock272957
Noble264946
Henry256437
Boone255054
Dubois245631
Dearborn228231
Jackson226334
Morgan221243
Gibson194926
Knox193021
Shelby192656
Clinton185421
DeKalb183932
Lawrence183849
Wabash172821
Adams172422
Miami170815
Daviess163145
Fayette153734
Steuben153414
Jasper151713
Montgomery149327
Harrison147624
LaGrange146131
Ripley145815
Whitley142314
Huntington133510
Decatur132543
Putnam131128
White131022
Wells130130
Clay130023
Randolph128121
Posey125816
Jefferson124116
Scott114520
Greene106053
Sullivan102716
Jay101913
Starke95022
Jennings90414
Spencer8908
Fulton87519
Perry85121
Fountain8228
Washington8127
Franklin73427
Carroll71913
Orange70028
Vermillion6607
Owen6468
Tipton60327
Parke6026
Newton57812
Rush5708
Blackford56612
Pike52719
Pulaski41815
Martin3705
Benton3643
Brown3574
Crawford3081
Union2782
Switzerland2655
Warren2562
Ohio2387
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 399808

Reported Deaths: 6346
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin52652672
Cuyahoga39132746
Hamilton31491372
Montgomery21355242
Butler15768149
Lucas15301420
Summit14667330
Stark9780209
Warren878777
Mahoning7985301
Lake752566
Lorain7149106
Clermont622953
Delaware597337
Licking589977
Trumbull5867148
Fairfield576464
Greene559568
Clark5438129
Allen518389
Medina496557
Marion489359
Wood4861108
Miami456268
Pickaway410548
Portage385574
Columbiana376599
Tuscarawas360567
Richland349639
Wayne340894
Mercer299248
Muskingum262510
Hancock257240
Ross251259
Darke246160
Auglaize243935
Erie240868
Ashtabula240454
Putnam234549
Geauga227051
Union20838
Scioto204316
Lawrence201139
Shelby199917
Athens19984
Seneca192919
Belmont176729
Madison172019
Sandusky166429
Huron163022
Preble162521
Defiance149923
Holmes146939
Knox139719
Logan139018
Jefferson138113
Fulton135826
Crawford134417
Washington133427
Ottawa128830
Ashland117328
Williams11479
Clinton113115
Highland108118
Brown10755
Hardin107019
Henry105423
Champaign10535
Jackson102012
Van Wert99918
Fayette97317
Guernsey96814
Morrow9682
Coshocton91015
Perry86613
Adams83813
Gallia81615
Pike7921
Wyandot76118
Paulding70012
Hocking68516
Noble65124
Carroll53210
Meigs41712
Monroe34921
Morgan2925
Harrison2433
Vinton2326
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 33°
Angola
37° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 31°
Huntington
Clear
35° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 35°
Decatur
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 31°
Van Wert
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 31°
Warm Sunday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events