Hulkenberg was ‘bracing for impact’ before near-miss with Tsunoda


The closing laps of the Canadian Grand Prix were a heart-stopping affair for Nico Hulkenberg, with the Haas charger just narrowly avoiding a nasty head-on collision with RB’s Yuki Tsunoda.

With only four laps remaining in the frantic Montreal race, Tsunoda, who had been battling for a top-ten finish, lost control of his car exiting Turn 8.

The Japanese driver spun across the runoff area and came to a precarious halt just as Hulkenberg was powering out of the right-left complex.

The German reacted instinctively, swerving his Haas to avoid a high-speed collision. Replays showed the gap between the two cars was mere millimeters, leaving Hulkenberg visibly shaken after the close call.

“I just don’t know,” said Hulkenberg of the incident. “I tried to react, tried to stop and tried to avoid him, but it must have been by a few millimetres.

“It felt very, very close so I have closed my eyes already bracing for the impact but managed somehow luckily to escape it.”


Despite a promising start to the Canadian Grand Prix, Haas ultimately fell short of their potential, finishing outside the points with both drivers.

The team’s strategic gamble to start the race on extreme wet tyres proved beneficial initially, with Kevin Magnussen and Hulkenberg running as high as fourth and seventh respectively.

But the ploy eventually failed as the rain tapered off and the track transitioned to drying conditions. Both drivers logically ceded track position as they switched to inters, but Magnussen was further hampered by a sluggish pitstop.

“I didn’t feel like we got the best out of it today,” commented the Dane.

“With all the opportunity that the race offered, we didn’t seem to capitalise on that, so that’s disappointing.

“So we’ll review it and try to understand it. Right now it’s all a bit blurry. There was lots of opportunity, that’s for sure, and we didn’t get any points so we've got to look into things.

“We had one very slow and one medium-slow [pit stop],” he added, “and then I also think we pitted for inters off the full wets too early and had to take another inter, which felt unnecessary – but I have to look into it properly to make sure I’m right in saying that.

“Yeah, it felt like there was something coming there in the beginning of the race and nothing to show for it.”

Hulkenberg said that Haas had taken a conscious risk by opting for extreme wets at the start. But it didn’t pay off.

“The first 10 laps were going really well,” he said. “But then it dried out and all came undone again. But yeah, that was that. We knew about that risk – not risk, but that scenario. But a clean race, no mistakes at least.”

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