Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Hockenheimring, 2019

Hulkenberg: Crashing out of fourth at home “hurts”

2019 German Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg said the crash which put him out of his home grand prix was “a tough one to take” after he’d run strongly earler in the race.

The Renault driver held second at one point before crashing out at turn 16, the corner where Charles Leclerc’s race also ended.

“It’s a tough one to take,” said Hulkenberg. “I’m upset for myself, the team and for Renault because they deserved an excellent result today.

“It’s one of those days where you have to make it stick, and I’m just gutted with how it ended especially in front of the home crowd.”

Hulkenberg said there was no way to recover his car after he put all four wheels wide onto a slippery section of the run-off.

“The final corner was very tricky as it was damp. I lost the rear a bit, went into a spin so I opened the steering and went onto the black Tarmac. It was like ice there and by that point I couldn’t stop the car.”

“It hurts and it will hurt even more tomorrow,” he added.

Team principal Cyril Abiteboul said Hulkenberg, who was running fourth at the time of his crash, “had been driving an amazing race” up to that point.

“[He] was supported by decisions from the pit wall and good execution by the pit crew. We made the call not to put dry tyres on too early and made up a lot of positions to second.

“The final corner looked tricky all day and Nico could not save the car from the wall. It’s difficult to take as it was an exciting race and we’d have liked to have been part of it until the end.”

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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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21 comments on “Hulkenberg: Crashing out of fourth at home “hurts””

  1. Hulkenberg is the Vettel of the midfield…crashes and all.

    Also, I’m absolutely devastated as a Hulk fan. Absolutely. For once…please for once…just take your opportunities man, please. This is the worst season that I’ve watched as a Hulk fan and that has only compounded on the frustrations built over the years. It doesn’t matter if a few other drivers went off that corner as well…many others didn’t, and Nico should have been one of them. All that being said, I’m not even angry at him at this time…I’m just sad.

    1. @neutronstar vettel can’t crash a break. Persecuted by sky every single second and they’ve spread it off of tv. Vettel tries too hard cause he doesn’t want to finish 2nd. Hulk wasn’t leading like brazil 2012, actually it wasn’t a given he would have finished strongly, just look at Albon, he had the better of kvyat for most of the race but kvyat had a bad call early on and albon a bad call late on.

      1. @peartree you’re right, but I’m not saying that a podium was guaranteed…just that there was perhaps a decent chance, and then history shamelessly repeated itself. It’s okay though…I just hope he ends his career (whenever he does so) satisfied and happy with being a fighter for so long.

    2. @neutronstar On sheer speed, there is not much between Ricciardo and Hülkenberg. But when Ricciardo often maximises when an opportunity arises, Hülkenberg messes up. In the end that will be the difference between the two drivers.

  2. The worst part is Nico seems visibly devastated himself for the first time (usually never too harsh on himself in the interviews)…he was venting at his team after the British Grand Prix as well. He’s clearly having a tough season.

    1. I just want him to finish his career happy with himself, if nothing else.

    2. @neutronstar – maybe there’s some substance to those rumours that he’s leaving Renault, despite him saying he’ll be continuing? And that’s also playing on his mind?

      1. @phylyp adding to those rumours is the possibility that he is taking his losses to Ricciardo far more heavily than he has done with any other teammate. This was his opportunity to truly shine (he admitted so himself, in his beyond the grid podcast). Silverstone wasn’t the first time he was upset with his team…he was angry in Canada too, because of the team orders and Hulk has always been a great team player.

        The one weekend where he looked better than Ricciardo, he put his car in the wall.

        He will bounce back on a personal level, of that I’m sure…but god knows when he’ll get an opportunity like this again.

        1. this was his opportunity

          *this season

        2. @neutronstar – I like the guy, and yeah, I too feel for him.

  3. Sad boi. Sad me.

  4. I posted two years ago on the forum about Hulkenberg missing out on podium opportunities such as this. He rarely seems to make mistakes until he’s a tip-toe away from the rostrum.

    He’d driven brilliantly up to that point and I had everything crossed that he might finally make it to the podium, but somehow I never expected it. Surely he’s now in danger of losing the Renault drive.

    1. Not sure whether this little mistake makes him lose his seat. We have seen many drivers going off in that corner (Leclerc, Hamilton, Sainz, Raikkonen) and others having a moment on different locations (Verstappens 360, Strolls spin into the gravel). Especially the latter is now regarded as one of the star performers even though he spun and split the Williams for most of the race until he lucked into podium contention.

      That said, it is still [insert whatever you like] that he again couldn’t get that podium.

      1. I agree that this individual mistake should not lose him his ride but adding it to the rest of his history definitely makes you wonder if he’ll ever breakthrough.

        Renault aspire to turn the Big 3 top tier into a Big 4. RIC is a proven winner and clutch performer. No worries there. Just look at the mess Gasly is making at RBR; would HUL do the same with an elite car?

        I know we all want to think Nico would step up but sadly it’s got to be a real concern for Renault.

    2. @ben-n As much as this mistake will hurt and it seems pretty certain that the Hulk is lacking composure whenever he gets a big chance I don’t think he should be in danger of losing his seat. Renault has quite a decent driver lineup, and with their performance right now they neither need nor deserve anyone better. They should be happy to keep Hulkenberg as a fairly dependable no.2 to Ricciardo and focus their budget on improving the chassis (and PU) rather than looking for a driver who can pull off the occasional miracle podium.

  5. Situations like this is what makes Hulk is not attractive to top teams and won’t placed him in list of great drivers. He’s great for midfield where scoring points consistently is highly valued but top teams would prioritize drivers that can actually score big when opportunity arises. Even blaming it to luck wouldn’t do any good for him, since if you believe heavily in luck, why would you pick a driver that lady luck apparently despise a lot?

    I’m sorry for Hulk fans, but the reality is he probably won’t be in top team unless Brawn GP situation happens again. Each year the list of more interesting drivers than Hulk keeps adding up while Hulk himself keeps getting older.

  6. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    29th July 2019, 12:09

    Feel bad for the guy – honestly thought this was going to be his podium day for a moment there.

    I have a horrible feeling the guy’s been waiting for it so long that when the chance actually appears he tends to panic a little and messes up. I think this like the third race I’ve seen him nearly have a podium and throw it away because of an unforced error? It’s bizarre because he’s certainly a great driver, and really deserving of a podium and more – but he just never seems to be in the right place and have it all come together. People say about Alonso’s luck but I think Hulkenberg’s had a career of what if’s.

  7. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    29th July 2019, 13:15

    Yeah, this was sad to watch and he’s not the only one who felt the pain. He was very unfortunate to crash there but almost all drivers crashed yesterday including Lewis, Max, and Kimi so there was probably no way to avoid a crash for any driver. It was just a matter of luck.

    His car was twitching in some shots and the Renaults seem to be hard to drive in general (neither driver is shining with the car and they are both very talented) so getting on the podium yesterday in a Renault may have been twice as hard as a Racing Point.

    Nonetheless when you get a chance, you have to grab it especially if it’s right before silly season.

    Now people think that Vettel, Stroll, and Kvyat are doing great because they were on the podium… A few laps before Hulkenberg, Albon, and Sainz looked much better than that trio.

  8. He already lost so many opportunities to this podium that i was skeptical about his chances. And again he undermines himself.

    The Chris Amon of the top 3 spots. But in his case, it’s not about luck.

  9. And Kevin laughs…

  10. It’s time for Hulk to finish his career in F1. He couldn’t get a podium in the last three crazy races where it was possible: two Baku races, 2017 and 2018, and Hockenheim.
    He can’t even beat Ricciardo race after race after race. Ricciardo worked hard and managed to get the most of it in almost all races this season. Hulk, on the other hand, didn’t improve and is constantly worse in qualification.
    In Germany, Hulk was truly the best of the rest until that crash. No one could fight Hulk other than the top guys. But given Hulk’s history in such races, I was 100% sure that he would botch up his chances again.
    I was his fervent fan for many years, but now I think he should leave F1. His racing series is Formula Losers, also known as Formula E.

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