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Nico Hulkenberg

Hulkenberg: The two-tenths shortfall that led to the 'shittiest' disaster

Nico Hulkenberg came oh so close to avoiding being the incident victim in the carnage that unfolded between Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen and Red Bull's Sergio Perez.

Hulkenberg garage Monaco
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Nico Hulkenberg believes he was two-tenths of a second away from avoiding disaster in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg emerged as the innocent victim of the carnage that unfolded between Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen and Red Bull's Sergio Perez on the opening lap of the race.

Magnussen's attempt at a pass on Perez up the hill through Beau Rivage resulted in a frightening collision that culminated in the Mexican smashing into a barrier to his right.

At speed, Perez bounced off and back across the track. With the incident unfolding to his right, Hulkenberg naturally eased off the throttle for a moment before making a dart for the clear track ahead of him.

With Perez a passenger in his car, it tagged the rear of Hulkenberg's Haas, sending the German into a spin and additionally out of the race. "Ah, damn it! That was unnecessary," said Hulkenberg over the radio when asked if he was okay.

Offering his view of the accident, speaking to media, including RacingNews365, Hulkenberg said: "I saw them racing up the hill, and then I saw a very sharp, narrow gap. I saw that Kevin stayed, and then Checo also didn't move.

"I think [it was] unnecessary from both really. It could have been easily avoided.

"For me, who wasn't directly involved, it's the shittiest of all. I missed it [avoiding being hit] by probably two-tenths. If I'd have been two-tenths further up the road, he [Perez] would have missed me.

"But as it was, he hit me with a small margin of his car, but enough to end my race as well."

As to what was going through his mind as he sat in the cockpit of his car knowing his race was over, Hulkenberg added: "It's just shit!

"You're immediately gutted. It's just disappointment because for everyone in the team, we all invest a lot of energy and time. We've just got to wipe it off and look ahead to Montreal."

Hulkenberg at least did not condemn team-mate Magnussen who many feel was at fault for the incident. The stewards decided to take no further action which would have come as a relief to the Dane as he is two points away from hitting 12 on his superlicence, incurring an automatic one-race ban.

Asked whether he understood why Magnussen went for the gap, he replied: "Yeah, of course, but nobody has won the Monaco Grand Prix on lap one!

"You have to take a calculated risk, a risk that makes sense, and it's always that risk-reward question you have to ask yourself.

"To some extent, it is definitely a racing incident, lap one, street circuit, narrow, visibility poor, with drivers not always exactly knowing where the other car is, and these things happen unfortunately."

Also interesting:

Is Ocon's future now in danger after the incident in Monaco? And has the track become too outdated for F1? In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, Ian Parkes, Samuel Coop and Nick Golding look back at last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix. Tune in below!

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here.

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