Nico Hulkenberg's Singapore Grand Prix weekend concluded prematurely Sunday on a sour note after the Force India drive was handed a three-place grid penalty for next weeks' Japanese Grand Prix following a collision with Felipe Massa.
Massa's Williams exited the pits on lap 13 alongside the Force India when the two collided just as Hulkenberg took his line through Turn 3, pitching the German driver into the barriers.
The subsequent investigation by the stewards, conducted on the spot without any testimony from the two drivers, concluded that Hulkenberg was responsible for the incident.
“That’s a really frustrating way to end my race. I was feeling confident with the car; I had made my first stop and I was in good shape. The accident with Felipe was very unlucky and I don’t understand why I’ve been given a penalty before there has even been the chance to discuss the incident in the stewards’ room."
Replays of the clash seemed to suggest that Hulkenberg could not see Massa in his mirrors, but the German acknowledged he was aware of the Williams' presence.
"I saw Felipe coming out of the pit exit as I went through Turn 1, but I was ahead in Turn 3, I was on the racing line and I took the corner as usual. Then I felt the contact with my left rear and my race was over. In my view it was my corner and I’m surprised Felipe backed out of it much too late, locking up just before he hit me.”
The Brazilian, who eventually retired from the race on lap 30, offered his own straightforward perspective on the encounter.
"I was braking for the corner and he turned his car in on mine," Massa said, "leaving me with nowhere to go, so we hit."
Click here for some of the most memorable crashes at Singapore