Date published: November 27 2018
Nico Hulkenberg admits his Abu Dhabi GP crash was “not pleasant” as a fire in the back of the car posed the biggest concern.
The German was tipped into a barrel roll on the opening lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when he collided with the Haas of Romain Grosjean.
Rolling twice, his RS18 came to a halt against the barriers and upside down.
Asked if he was OK by his team, Hulkenberg was heard telling them there was a “fire” and urging them to put it out.
Thankfully the marshals were quickly there to do just that before the medical team checked on Hulkenberg and declared him safe enough to flip the car back onto its wheels.
He climbed out unaided before going to the medical centre where he was given the all-clear.
Recalling what happened, he told RTL: “It was an uncomfortable situation.
“I still had a little fire in the back of the car.
“Of course, the gases get into the cockpit, and breathing becomes difficult, not pleasant.”
Rolling twice, Hulkenberg’s head was in part protested by the Halo.
Asked about that, he replied: “I did not think about Halo. Everything went relatively fast.
“There is more anger and frustration that the race ended so early.”
The crash has once again raised questions about Halo and whether it could be more of a hindrance than a help.
Toto Wolff, Mercedes‘ motorsport boss, admits he has a several concerns.
“What worries me is that he did not get out of the car,” he told Die Welt newspaper. “You could see the flames behind.
“If something really happens, then we would have to develop a system where a driver can get out of the car.”
Former World Champion Nico Rosberg conceded that barrel rolls with the car coming to a rest on top of the Halo are the one “vulnerability, the only flaw in Halo.
“Basically, it is of course much better, but perhaps we have to look again.”