Heading into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Nico Hulkenberg made his determination clear. He talked about wanting to secure the best possible result that he can and secure fourth place for the team. Hulkenberg also feels that there’s a lot on the line, but in comparison to last year, everyone has a much clearer idea of the fact that anything can happen.
Hulkenberg had also talked about wanting the last race to go well so that the team could head into the off-season with a positive memory. Even others aside from Hulkenberg were stepping into the Abu Dhabi race on an optimistic note. Lance Stroll has remarked that it’s a great way to end the season and that he is impressed with what’s been done with Abu Dhabi. Stroll alongside Sergey Sirotkin will be retiring after this race, and both were also hopeful that the race would leave a positive memory.
Unfortunately, for Hulkenberg, it didn’t quite transpire as hoped. Tragedy struck as his car was flipped over and even lit on fire after being blindsided by Haas’ Romain Grosjean. Hulkenberg’s car flipped two times after which it came to a halt by crashing into the Yas Marina Circuit barriers. Concern for his safety grew as a fire broke out on the car while he was still inside. The F1’s halo device, a mandatory safety design, made it so that he couldn’t leave the car on his own.
While the fire was quickly extinguished, Hulkenberg was still stuck inside. His Renault car was carefully flipped so that it was standing right side up, and he was able to exit the car afterwards not much worse for wear.
He later commended the fire marshals for a job well done. He remembered how there was a little barbecue at the back and he just wanted to get out as soon as possible but couldn’t do anything.
The race was put on hold for a bit due to the incident. Drivers were made to follow a safety car till the all-clear was given and the race continued on Lap 5.