Hulkenberg: Perez and Magnussen crash ‘unnecessary and stupid’

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Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg was left fuming after becoming the innocent victim of a clash between Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and his Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen at the start of the Monaco Grand Prix.

Disaster struck at the tail end of the field on the run up the hill towards Massenet during the race's opening lap when Perez and Magnussen made contact which sent the Red Bull driver heavily into the barriers.

Unfortunately, as he was caught in the crossfire of the contact, Hulkenberg was clipped by Perez’s car which also spun the German into the barrier.

With all three drivers out on the spot and loads of debris spread across the track, the race was inevitably red flagged.

Speaking after the incident, Hulkenberg did not mince words, calling the crash "stupid" and "unnecessary from both" Perez and Magnussen.

"It was obviously stupid between Kevin and Checo," Hulkenberg told Sky Germany.

"I don't know if Checo saw Kevin. Checo could have left space. At the same time, I think Kevin was also very optimistic about staying on there, where the track gets narrower and there are little kinks up to Turn 3.

"I think unnecessary from both really, it could have been avoided easily,” the Hulk added.

"Obviously, for me, who wasn't directly involved, it's the shittiest of all. I missed it probably by two tenths.

"If I would have been two times further up the road, he would have missed me. I'm gutted and disappointed because everyone in the team, we all invest a lot of energy and time and it's just frustrating."

Hulkenberg suggested that his teammate’s move on Perez was ill-inspired, especially on the opening lap of the 78-lap race.

“Nobody has won the Monaco Grand Prix on lap one. So, you have to take calculated risk and risks that make sense...,” he said.

"It's always that risk-reward question that you have to [answer] yourself."

Addressing the incident, Magnussen defended his position, saying that he expected Perez to leave more space on the right given the natural curve in the road at that point of the track.

"Well, he clearly wasn't leaving space that I thought he would," commented the Dane. "I had a good part of my front end, my whole front wheel was ahead of his rear wheel.

"So, I did expect him to be leaving room for one car on his right, especially since he didn't have anyone on his inside. On his left, there was a completely clear track. So he just squeezed me into the wall."

"It's not good to see both cars in one crash. It sucks. It's a shitty, shitty situation."

As for Perez, the Mexican said that he was surprised by Magnussen's presence. He also rued the lack of action by the stewards.

"On my onboard there is no point where you see Kevin and I was just pretty surprised that he kept it flat at that point, because it was just very unnecessary," he said.

"We had a lot of damage, we had a very dangerous incident. Also [I’m] very disappointed that it didn’t get investigated, because it was a massive incident, my car is completely destroyed and I have a lot of damage.”

The crash was investigated by the stewards but fortunately for Magnussen – who is just two penalty points away from an outright race ban – no further action was taken.

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