Nico Hulkenberg reacts to ‘seriously scary and sketchy’ incident

Nico Hulkenberg finished seventh at the Australian Grand Prix, his first points finish since returning to a full-time seat.

Nico Hulkenberg’s Australian Grand Prix almost ended in catastrophic circumstances on Lap Seven, with the German having been just inches away from a potentially fatal accident.

The Haas driver has been exceptional since returning to a full-time seat, with the 35-year-old having already made two Q3 appearances.

The second of the two Q3 appearances came at the Albert Park Circuit last weekend, although, it did put him in a dangerous position when Alex Albon crashed on Lap Seven.

Albon was running in sixth when he crashed at Turn Seven on Lap Seven, with his Williams having bounced back onto the circuit after hitting the barrier.

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As well as his car bouncing back onto the circuit, the accident saw gravel and dust thrown into the air, meaning the first few drivers to pass the incident were doing so blind.

Hulkenberg was one of the first few drivers to pass the incident and came the closest to making direct contact with Albon’s car, something he admits was “seriously scary”.

“Holy moly, I mean seriously I had a code brown in that moment,” said Hulkenberg.

“That was seriously scary. I mean, thank God nothing happened. But this is a nightmare scenario. You’ve come around a blind corner in a street circuit.

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“I mean, that was seriously scary and sketchy. That’s a bad example of a driver losing the car, crashing and coming back onto the track, and because there’s a gravel trap, there was dust, so you could not really see much.

“I think Pierre was in front of me, he was the first car, I was the second car, and no marshal in the world can react that fast.

“We didn’t have yellow flags, I just saw the cloud of dust and I saw gravel flying around, so I sort of didn’t take the ideal or normal racing line, I went a bit wider.

“I think I still didn’t miss him by much though, I immediately shouted on the radio that we need a safety car and that it was a dangerous situation.”

After narrowly missing Albon, Hulkenberg went on to have a fairly quiet race, only to be overtaken by Lando Norris and Sergio Perez.

He did suddenly find himself in P4 following a late race restart after a second red flag was flown; however, a third red flag was flown just seconds into the restart due to a crash.

As a result, the order was reversed to what it was before the restart took place, excluding any drivers who crashed out, leaving Hulkenberg in seventh.

It was certainly a “crazy race” which threw a lot at Hulkenberg, with the German having claimed his first points of the season.

“It was a crazy race, so many things happened, so many different scenarios,” he said.

“Obviously at the red flag we got a free stop, it kind of played into our hands.

“Then I had a pretty lonely race just following the top guys, then defending to Lando I struggled a little bit with the tyres, I couldn’t defend my position unfortunately.

“It was kind of in control for P9 or maybe P10. And then the red flags came about again, and everything started to heat up again and to spiral a bit crazy.

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“But good start practice for me, and they were all very good. The last one I actually came from P8 through to P4. I managed to stay clean and wasn’t involved in any incidents.

“So that was nice, but unfortunately they red-flagged it very soon after that, so we couldn’t bring that home.

“Nevertheless I think a lot of positives to take. We were competitive once again.”