Nico Hulkenberg admits he was frustrated to crash during second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix after missing most of the session due to an error.
The Renault driver ran wide exiting Juncao — the final proper corner on the circuit at Interlagos — and ended up on the grass. From there he slid sideways into the barrier at relatively high speed, doing significant damage to the whole right-hand side of his car. Having caused a red flag and ended his running after six laps, Hulkenberg says a small mistake had big consequences.
“I ran a bit too wide on the exit of the last corner, took a little bit too much curb there — wanted it a bit too much, probably,” Hulkenberg said. “The car bottomed out and from there really it was done, I was a passenger. Once I bottomed out that really pulled me off the track onto the grass — and obviously no grip on the grass and it was inevitable from there that I would hit the wall.
“It’s a pity and frustrating. Obviously it’s far from ideal to crash on a Friday, it’s not what I want, but unfortunately it happened today.”
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While Hulkenberg is confident that there will be no penalties required due to any of the damage caused in the crash, he says Renault is facing a tough weekend based on the pace it showed on Friday.
“Yeah, tricky. I think we don’t look as competitive as in Mexico and in Austin. A little bit as expected, this track is a bit more challenging for us, the balance that we face, so a challenging weekend ahead.”
Hulkenberg finished bottom of the times in FP2 as a result of his crash, while Carlos Sainz was 14th quickest, 0.7s adrift of the Haas of Romain Grosjean in seventh place.
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ABOUT CHRIS MEDLAND
While studying Sports Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, Chris managed to talk his way into working at the British Grand Prix in 2008 and was retained for three years before joining ESPN F1 as Assistant Editor. After three years at ESPN, a spell as F1 Editor at Crash Media Group was followed by the major task of launching F1i.com’s English-language website and running it as Editor. Present at every race since the start of 2014, he has continued building his freelance portfolio, working with international titles. As well as writing for RACER, he contributes to BBC 5Live and Sky Sports in the UK as well as working with titles in Japan and the Middle East.