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 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."

West Lafayette
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 96°
Kokomo
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 96°
Rensselaer
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 92°
Fowler
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 92°
Williamsport
Scattered Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 101°
Crawfordsville
Overcast
76° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 77°
Frankfort
Scattered Clouds
91° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 98°
Delphi
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 89°
Monticello
Clear
85° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 89°
Logansport
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 90°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48524

Reported Deaths: 2698
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11682684
Lake5180242
Elkhart330146
Allen2798132
St. Joseph196466
Cass16389
Hamilton1563101
Hendricks1410100
Johnson1288118
Porter73237
Tippecanoe7268
Madison65964
Clark65544
Bartholomew58644
LaPorte58026
Howard57757
Kosciusko5494
Vanderburgh5486
Marshall4904
Noble48228
Jackson4723
LaGrange4709
Hancock45035
Boone44543
Delaware44550
Shelby42625
Floyd38144
Morgan32931
Monroe30028
Grant29526
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Henry27415
Dubois2736
White26510
Decatur25032
Lawrence24625
Dearborn23823
Vigo2358
Harrison21822
Warrick21829
Unassigned193193
Greene18932
Miami1832
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1627
Daviess14317
Wayne1406
Orange13623
Perry1299
Steuben1292
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1177
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Gibson812
Huntington812
Randolph794
Wells731
Fulton721
Jefferson722
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Owen491
Benton480
Sullivan451
Posey420
Brown391
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton321
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events