Nico Hulkenberg paid tribute to the marshals who helped him emerge unscathed after he was trapped in his Renault which caught fire.
Hulkenberg somersaulted through the air one-and-a-half times following a collision with the Haas driver Romain Grosjean on the opening lap of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, won by Lewis Hamilton.
The German driver, 31, landed the wrong way up, with flames temporarily coming from the back of his car. He yelled over the radio: ‘Get me out, there is a fire.’
“The marshals reacted very quickly,” said Hulkenberg, who walked away unaided from the incident and was later given the all-clear by doctors.
“They did a good job. It was not the most comfortable situation to be in. There was a little barbeque at the back, so I just wanted to get out. You feel pretty helpless.”
Hulkenberg was in his car for several minutes, but race director Charlie Whiting insisted the Halo – Formula One’s mandatory safety device that sits on top of the cockpit – didn’t prevent the Renault driver from making his escape.
“Once the car was back on its wheels, which had to be done carefully he was able to get out by himself,” he said.
“It was very controlled from what I could see. Our medical delegate was more than happy with the way it was done. It all worked exactly as it should.”
You can watch the crash below.
For Hulkenberg it was a short-lived race, but the only thing that matters after a crash that bad is that he walks away unscathed and unharmed.
Unsurprisingly, Grosjean was pretty worried about his peer and was quick to ask how he was on his own team radio after being involved in the incident on the first lap.
Grosjean asked his team if Hulkenberg was okay, to which he was told he was fine and talking.
The Frenchman then replied by saying 'good, good'.