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Hulkenberg explains 'small error' behind crash

Hulkenberg explains 'small error' behind crash
By AutoSport

09/11/2018 at 20:39Updated 09/11/2018 at 21:39

Renault Formula 1 driver Nico Hulkenberg says his heavy Brazilian Grand Prix practice shunt was the result of a "small error".

Hulkenberg crashed at final corner Juncao a few minutes into the second Friday practice session, clipping the grass and veering into the wall - which demolished the right side of his RS18.

"I ran a bit too wide at the exit of the last corner," Hulkenberg said. "I took a little bit too much kerb there, wanted a bit too much probably.

"The car bottomed out, and from there it was done, I was a passenger.

"Once I bottomed out, that pulled me off the track onto the grass, obviously no grip in the grass.

" It was inevitable from there that I would hit the wall."

"Happened pretty fast, small error but a lot of damage, so, yeah, not a great afternoon."

Hulkenberg struggled with the balance on his car throughout the day, but did not consider this as a major factor in the accident.

"The balance is challenging around here, especially the last corner is always difficult - when you have done a complete lap, the tyres are pretty hot and the grip is a bit less in the final corner, that makes it always a tough corner," he said.

"But no, I've been running on the kerb before, it was just a tad too much [that time]."

The crash meant Hulkenberg logged just six initial laps in the afternoon session, and missed out on both qualifying simulation runs and high-fuel mileage.

Despite this, he reckoned it would not be too big a setback for his Interlagos aspirations because he feels very well acquainted with the car by this point in the season.

"It's not great to miss the long runs, to miss the short-run performance, but I'm quite confident that it won't hamper my weekend too much," he insisted.

"We're quite advanced into the season, I know this car inside out and how it reacts. I think we're still in good shape."

Both Hulkenberg and team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr finished outside the top 10 in first practice, and the Spaniard could do no better than 14th in the afternoon.

"It looked a bit difficult today as well," said Hulkenberg.

"I think the pace is not quite as good, as strong as in Austin or Mexico.

" The car doesn't feel as together as it did the previous weekends. You could see that on the timesheets, we didn't look as competitive."

"Obviously we'll try to find some speed overnight but I expect a challenging weekend ahead."