Nico Hulkenberg fires ‘American’ jibe after controversial Australian GP

The Australian Grand Prix was plagued by multiple red flags and restarts, as teams struggled to get their cars safely around the track.

Formula 1 is under fire after a chaotic end to the Australian Grand Prix left only 12 cars able to finish the race.

The event in Melbourne became the first race in Formula 1 history to have three red flags, and eventually ended behind a safety car after the two Alpines collided into one another on lap 57.

The number of red flags and restarts resulted in criticism from Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg, who lost out on his first ever podium finish in Formula 1 due to a decision from the stewards.

Sitting in P4 before the last red flag restart, Hulkenberg would’ve taken P3 from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz after the Spaniard was demoted by a five second penalty. 

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However, stewards decided to revert to the starting order of the second red flag restart, ending under a safety car procedure that meant Hulkenberg ended in P7.

“This is going to degenerate into big discussions,” Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg said.  

“From a fan’s point of view, an entertainment point of view, you can completely understand it.

“From the driver’s point of view or from the team’s point of view, this American entertainment style is sometimes frustrating,” he added.

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Haas attempted to protest the result of the Australian Grand Prix but officials dismissed it.

READ: FIA criticised after F1 driver escapes punishment despite rear-ending another car in Australia

“Having considered all the arguments made, we made the following determination… The decision of Race Control and the Race Director needed to be made promptly; with the exercise of appropriate discretion and by using the most appropriate information available to them at the time,” the stewards wrote.

“In the circumstances, based on what we heard from the FIA representatives and from Haas, we considered that this was in fact done appropriately by the Race Director in this instance and therefore dismiss the protest.”

While Haas were unhappy with the P7 finish, it is the team’s best finish so far in 2023, helping the American constructor move to P7 in the standings.