Hulkenberg owns up to first lap mistake, but gets big penalty

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Renault's Nico Hulkenberg held himself accountable for the first lap mistake that took himself, Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc out of Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

The German driver misjudged his braking point as the pack ran up to the La Source hairpin, hitting the back of Alonso's McLaren which in turn took out Leclerc's Sauber.

Hulkenberg partly put the blunder down to his car's aerodynamic sensitivity in traffic and its resulting lack of grip.

"It's just incredible to find out again on lap 1 how sensitive these cars are with aerodynamics when you have a few cars that bunch up in front of you, how much grip and load you lose.

"When I hit the brakes obviously I instantly locked up the front wheels and then just sliding into Fernando. Yeah, probably a misjudgment from my side, a bit too late on the brakes, a bit too keen.

"It's frustrating obviously for him, for Charles as well but also for myself."

Hulkenberg's fail also led to a minor chain reaction that involved Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen who made contact on the exit of La Source, ultimately with terminal implications for both drivers.

Alonso pointed the finger at Hulkenberg immediately after the mishap, and later in the day the Renault driver was predictably reprimanded by the Belgian GP stewards who handed the driver a 10-spot grid penalty for Monza.

“The driver of car 27 stated that he completely misjudged the situation and freely admitted it was his mistake," they ruled, also hitting the Hulk with 3 penalty points on his licence.

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