Hülkenberg blames Vettel for first lap elimination


Nico Hulkenberg - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Nico Hülkenberg felt Sebastian Vettel could have been more alert heading into turn one at the Circuit of the Americas as the Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team driver was forced into retirement with suspension damage.

The German had been on form all weekend long, but found the Scuderia Ferrari driver turning across him aggressively into turn one, which in turn pushed him into the Williams Martini Racing machine of Valtteri Bottas, with Hülkenberg feeling he had nowhere to go as a result.

“It’s really disappointing to have another first lap retirement,” said Hülkenberg. “I just ran out of space going into turn one because I got sandwiched between Valtteri on my left and Sebastian on the right.

“Sebastian turned in quite aggressively, made contact with me, and that pushed me into Valtteri. I think it could have been avoided if Sebastian had given us a bit more space, but it all happened so quickly and I had nowhere to go.”

Having qualified seventh and having shown tremendous pace throughout the weekend in the United States, Hülkenberg was naturally disappointed to end his race so early after so much promise.

“It’s really frustrating when you have a quick car and your race only lasts ten seconds,” said Hülkenberg. “We had done all the hard work on Friday and Saturday, but all that effort counted for nothing.”