Nico Hülkenberg has said he doesn’t understand why he was handed a grid penalty for Japan after he made contact with Felipe Massa during the Singapore Grand Prix.
Massa was exiting the pits on lap 13 when he met up with Hulkenberg at the second corner. Massa acknowledged he saw Hülkenberg but assumed he would leave enough space for the two of them.
The pair collided when Hülkenberg went to take the racing line into Turn 2, ending the German’s race prematurely.
“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,” Hülkenberg said.
“The accident with Felipe [Massa] 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. I saw Felipe coming out of the pit exit as I went through turn one, but I was ahead in turn three, 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.”
Hülkenberg had been running in twelfth position after pitting a lap prior to Massa.
The German was found guilty of causing a collision and was handed a three-place grid penalty for the next race in Japan.
Image via Sahara Force India F1 Team