Nico Hulkenberg admits he was frustrated to crash during second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix after missing most of the session due to an error.
The Renault driver ran wide exiting Juncao — the final proper corner on the circuit at Interlagos — and ended up on the grass. From there he slid sideways into the barrier at relatively high speed, doing significant damage to the whole right-hand side of his car. Having caused a red flag and ended his running after six laps, Hulkenberg says a small mistake had big consequences.
“I ran a bit too wide on the exit of the last corner, took a little bit too much curb there — wanted it a bit too much, probably,” Hulkenberg said. “The car bottomed out and from there really it was done, I was a passenger. Once I bottomed out that really pulled me off the track onto the grass — and obviously no grip on the grass and it was inevitable from there that I would hit the wall.
“It’s a pity and frustrating. Obviously it’s far from ideal to crash on a Friday, it’s not what I want, but unfortunately it happened today.”
While Hulkenberg is confident that there will be no penalties required due to any of the damage caused in the crash, he says Renault is facing a tough weekend based on the pace it showed on Friday.
“Yeah, tricky. I think we don’t look as competitive as in Mexico and in Austin. A little bit as expected, this track is a bit more challenging for us, the balance that we face, so a challenging weekend ahead.”
Hulkenberg finished bottom of the times in FP2 as a result of his crash, while Carlos Sainz was 14th quickest, 0.7s adrift of the Haas of Romain Grosjean in seventh place.