New video of Hulkenberg’s alarming first-lap crash

2016 Singapore Grand Prix

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A dramatic crash seconds after the Singapore Grand Prix start left Nico Hulkenberg pointing the wrong way as the field rushed towards him on the pit straight.

The alarming moment was captured by a spectator in the stand opposite, revealing the speed at which Hulkenberg’s rivals were bearing down on him in the incident.

Hulkenberg said he was “extremely disappointed” to crash out just 50 metres into the race.

“I had made such a good start – probably my best getaway off the line this year,” he said. “I went for the gap between the two Toro Rossos, which was there, but obviously things got very tight.”

“I had Daniil [Kvyat] on my right and Carlos [Sainz] on my left, and Carlos hit my left rear, which sent me into the wall. I think all the avoiding actions led to the gap I was in disappearing. So it was a really frustrating end for me.”

2016 Singapore Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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18 comments on “New video of Hulkenberg’s alarming first-lap crash”

  1. Luckely Nico didn’t bouched back to middle of the track otherwise i think they would serious harm to him. And more cars would crashed. Still dissapointed the Hulk was the one crashing out. That because Max couldn’t change his clutch shouldn’t RC not ordered the change to prevent this?

    1. @macleod Good suggestion: after this crash you could argue that changing the clutch before the start is a safety issue and should be allowed. Perhaps with an additional 5 places grid drop.

      1. That’s already the case.

        RBR knew the VES’ clutch was crappy on saturday, they couldn’t convince the FIA that safety was at stake here and so they had to make a choice: change the gearbox (I assume the clutch is deemed a part of the gearbox) and take a 5 place griddrop, or start regardless and hope it goes well.

        They chose the the latter and it didn’t work out.

        Should have been allowed due to safety? No, because bad starts will simply always happen with perfectly fine clutches as well unless you fully automate and sinc the lights and clutch, it in which case you could just aswell automate the driving entirely and call it a day. Besides, the precedent that this would have created would cause teams to make a purely performance realated change during Parc Fermé all the time and have a lawyer do the wording for the letter to the FIA.

    2. A lot has been made of Max’s poor clutch. Too much I feel and obviously so did the FIA at the time. Horner seems to agree too. The article I saw said that the clutch was always going to bite too hard but that was as bad as it would be and that is why the FIA said no to changing it. RB and Max knew this before the race. Normally a driver is not aware of what is going to happen to his clutch, but Max did in this case. He was in a privileged position while still a difficult one.
      Horner’s comment said that…

      “Unfortunately for Max we had some clutch issues overnight which we thought we’d cured in time for the race, combined with an awful lot of wheel spin at the start, it cost him some time as did avoiding the (Nico Hulkenberg) accident.

      Max’s clutch bit too hard and then he picked up a lot of wheel spin. The clutch covers the first stage. Secondary wheelspin after the first 0.5-1.0 second is all down to the driver and as seen in the videos he didn’t manage it well. That is why Horner said “Combined with a whole lot of wheelspin” in his statement. Don’t get me wrong, it is easier if your clutch works fine. But often it doesn’t (ask Hamilton) and when it doesn’t you have to react and deal with it. Max knew what was going to happen, but he still couldn’t manage it.

      Yes I know, he is still 18….

      1. Verstappen is making mistakes, big and little ones, under the F1 spotlight instead of in GP2 or at Manor for example. Nowhere to hide and the critics are eager to feed of his carcas.

        For now at 18 I think it’s good he is getting a whooping from his teammate because it’s probably for the first time that happened to him.

        Adding injury to insult when stuff goes wrong (like the innitial start at Belgium followed by driving lap-one like a maniac and now in Singapore too, pedal-panicking after the clutch failed) with the world to watch his faillures should help him mature as a driver and mentally. Next year we’ll see what he’s really made off.

  2. The drivers needed to keep going at that speed, otherwise they risk a bigger accident if they’re changing speed at different rates and somebody gets caught out

  3. Can’t help but notice that the spectators don’t even have seats! Wonder how much they paid to Bernie just to stand…

    1. If i’m not mistaken this is a viewing platform accessible with the Walkabout tickets, so not an actual Grandstand and “cheaper” :)

    2. And also that they are more focused on the cellphones than in actually seeing the show.

      1. I used to be photographer for a living and used to take my kit to the races.
        It soon became apparent to me I was taking photos for other people’s pleasure and costing myself the enjoyment of being there.

        The last few times I’ve been I have still taken a limited amount of gear to grab a couple of shots mid race. For the first and last few laps it’s definitely better to leave the gear packed away and just enjoy the action.

  4. A bit odd how long it is before the green light before the scene of the crash turns yellow. Of course there’s a good 90 seconds before the other cars would have arrived at the light and of course when they did they were met by the safety car, but still – the flag marshals had no different a job than they’d have for a similar accident mid-race, and being that slow to bring out the yellows would be a serious problem then.

  5. Whoever does the on-track audio pick-up sound engineering needs to be sacked, pronto. Everyone of these spectator videos always has much better sound than any of the official broadcasts. I’m guessing this was picked up by the phone/camera microphone, with absolutely no post-processing?

    The cars, while not a match for a screaming V8/V10/V12, still have some real substance about them. This is not converyed at all well by the official broadcasts.

    1. The cars, while not a match for a screaming V8/V10/V12, still have some real substance about them. This is not converyed at all well by the official broadcasts.

      This has been noted several times on here since the new regs came in, and I completely agree. Having been at Spa in 2014, I loved the sound of the cars: There is a real depth to the sound, a nuanced growl as opposed to the scream of the V8s. It’s a rock ballad against the metal of the V8.

      However, Bernie doesn’t like them, and won’t do anything to make them more appealing. Maybe Liberty will have something to say about that…

      1. Yeah, amateur audio captured really does cars more justice. Something is wrong with official audios.

      2. I’m pretty sure the microphones and gear used to capture the sound is top notch.
        The problem is that when you watch the race on TV, the voice from the commentators is given priority and unless you turn up the volume (a lot) you won’t hear it. It also doesn’t help that the director switches cameras constantly and you don’t get to experience the continuous sound of the cars as they come into a corner, slow down and then accelerate again.

        If you have a chance, buy an end of season DVD and turn off the commentary then watch with a real set of speakers (not the ones built in the TV) and you’ll hear how much better it really is than a cellphone video.

        1. A good set of headphones will also serve you as well as a good set of speakers – even with the commentary on.

  6. A stroke of luck for Williams, FI would have opened up the gap in the constructors much more significantly had the Hulk finished the race.

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