Nico Hulkenberg says almost colliding with Alexander Albon’s stationary Williams car following his crash at the Australian Grand Prix was a “seriously scary” moment.
On lap seven of the race, Albon spun while running deep inside the points and hit the wall at Turn 6, creating a cloud of dust while being projected back onto the racing line.
The following cars only had moments to avoid him as there were no active yellow flags in the immediate aftermath of the crash, while the dust made it difficult for the drivers to spot Albon’s stricken car.
Hulkenberg barely managed to avoid Albon and stated it was a terrifying moment inside the cockpit of his car.
“I mean that was seriously scary and sketchy,” Hulkenberg said.
“That’s a bad example of a driver losing the car, crashing and coming back onto the track, and because there’s a gravel trap, there was dust, so you could not really see much.
“I think Pierre [Gasly] was in front of me, he was the first car, I was the second car, and no marshal in the world can react that fast.
“We didn’t have yellow flags, I just saw the cloud of dust and I saw gravel flying around, so I sort of didn’t take the ideal or normal racing line, I went a bit wider.
“But I think I still didn’t miss him by much though, I immediately shouted on the radio that we need a safety car. And that was a dangerous situation.”
A red flag was subsequently thrown, which would be the first of three that was deployed during the chaotic race.
Hulkenberg says that he had a “Code Brown” situation, but was thankful that a distressing scenario was avoided.
“I mean, seriously I had a Code Brown in that moment. That was seriously scary. I mean, thank God nothing happened,” he said.
“But this is a nightmare scenario. You know, you’ve come around the blind corner in a street circuit.
“All I saw was a cloud of smoke and gravel flying around, and then only last moment I saw his car rolling back onto the track and I missed him not by that much. That could have been a really bad scenario.”
Hulkenberg went on to finish the race in seventh place, scoring his first points of the 2023 season.