• European Grand Prix

Hulkenberg sorry for FP1 crash

ESPNF1 Staff
June 24, 2011 « Button fighting to overcome tyre struggle | »
Nico Hulkenberg limited both his own and Paul di Resta's running © Sutton Images

Nico Hulkenberg says he apologised to Paul di Resta for crashing his car during first practice for the European Grand Prix.

Reserve driver Hulkenberg had replaced di Resta during FP1 in Valencia and had only completed seven laps when he lost control of the Force India under braking for turn 12 and hit the wall. The damage left the mechanics working throughout the afternoon to fix damage to the left hand side of the car, and meant di Resta was only able to take to the track with 10 minutes of the 90 minute second session remaining.

Hulkenberg said he had apologised to di Resta for limiting his time in the car, and that the incident was due to the lack of grip on the dusty track early on in the race weekend.

"I was one of the first drivers to start a proper run this morning when the track was quite green," Hulkenberg said. "Unfortunately I locked the rears under braking for turn 12 quite early in my run, the car turned left into the wall and caused quite a bit of damage. It all happened so quickly at 300 km/h and there was no chance to react and catch the car. I'm really sorry for the team and I've also apologised to Paul because it limited his time in the car this afternoon."

Di Resta praised the Force India mechanics for getting the car repaired, and said he would have to make up for lost time in the final hour-long session on Saturday.

"The way things unfolded today has been quite unfortunate," di Resta said. "Nico's accident this morning meant that my car wasn't ready for the start of second practice and I had to sit and wait. The guys did a great job to get everything repaired in time for me to get out for the final few minutes of the session, but I only managed three timed laps. It means there is plenty of work to do in final practice tomorrow morning to make up for the lost track time."