Watch: Nico Hulkenberg almost has horror mega-shunt in Australia

Nico Hulkenberg was in ninth as he went past the scene of Alex Albon's crash.

Nico Hulkenberg delivered a stellar drive on Sunday at the Australian Grand Prix, as the experienced German continued his brilliant return to Formula 1.

Based on how well Hulkenberg has started the 2023 F1 season, you wouldn’t believe that he hasn’t held a full-time seat since racing for Renault in 2019.

Since returning to the sport with Haas, Hulkenberg has already made two Q3 appearances and has now scored his first points of the season.

The 35-year-old claimed seventh at the Albert Park Circuit after demonstrating great pace, whilst also avoiding the carnage that unfolded.

READ: Guenther Steiner reveals Nico Hulkenberg’s secret Ferrari training regime

The race almost had a very different outcome for the Haas driver, though, after he narrowly missed Alex Albon’s stricken Williams due to dust.

Albon crashed at Turn Seven on Lap Seven and bounced back onto the circuit, throwing gravel and dust into the air.

Albon had been in sixth at the time whilst Hulkenberg was ninth, with the German having used unbelievable reactions to avoid driving straight into the Thai driver’s car.

Had Hulkenberg hit Albon then it would’ve resulted in a truly horrific incident, with it having been a relief that the racing gods were at play.

Article continues below

From that moment on, Hulkenberg’s pace was very consistent, with him having enjoyed a great battle with Norris in the latter stages of the race.

As the race reached its closing laps, he found himself in ninth; however, he suddenly found himself in fourth following a series of accidents after a standing start, due to a red flag having been needed.

Hulkenberg overtook Fernando Alonso, Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris at the restart, with the first two names having been involved in incidents.

However, seconds after the race was restarted, it was red flagged again, with the order having been reversed to what it was at the start of the restart, excluding any drivers who retired from the race.

As a result, Hulkenberg was demoted from fourth back to seventh, after Gasly retired from the race and Carlos Sainz was awarded a five-second time penalty.

Haas did appeal the result of the race, but the FIA rejected it.

Prior to the FIA reviewing Haas’ appeal, Hulkenberg discussed the late incident, with the German having labelled the race as a whole as “wild”.

READ: ‘It is forbidden’: Formula 1’s race director announces new rule

“It was wild and a bit messy at times,” Hulkenberg said, as per Haas’ post-race press release.

“We’ll have to look through everything that happened as there were a lot of things happening. I had a super start the third time around on softs and came through to P4, so it’s a shame there were a few incidents and then the race was red flagged.

“There are a lot of positive learnings again and I feel there are a lot of good things happening. I’m refreshed, in a very positive mindset and really enjoy working with the team and experimenting with the car. We have very good momentum and that’s what we want to take into the next races.”