F1: Hulkenberg plays down Halo concerns after spectacular crash
Nico Hulkenberg says the Halo on his Renault was not a noticeable hindrance in his ability to climb out of his cockpit following a spectacular crash at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hulkenberg's car was sent flipping into the barriers after making contact with Romain Grosjean on the opening lap, eventually coming to rest upside down with flames emerging from the rear.
The German did not leave the car until marshals had pushed it back onto its wheels, prompting some to speculate that the Halo - introduced this season as a means of protecting drivers - played a part in trapping Hulkenberg inside.
But the 31-year-old, who finished seventh in the drivers' standings as the 'best of the rest' behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, says he was happy to be patient and wait for the marshals to come to his aid.
"I don't know if the Halo blocked me or not," he told Sky Sports. "To my right I had the barrier anyway and there was a very small gap.
"When you're upside down it's not so easy to find all the buttons and all the things because everything feels very different.
"It was the first time for me to end up in the car on its roof, so I was just sitting tight waiting for the marshals and they righted it very quickly and obviously got me out."
A scary start to the final race of the season for @HulkHulkenberg
He walked away unscathed from his big collision with Romain Grosjean #AbuDhabiGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/bAVm0LRgtQ
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 25, 2018
Reflecting on a frustrating end to the season, Hulkenberg - who was uninjured in the incident - added: "It's just the normal disappointment that you have when you go out in lap one of the race.
"Obviously not what I was looking for. Such a long build-up and everybody's putting in the hard work for the weekend and then to be out in lap one like this, with a lot of damage to the car as well, feels bad.
"Very disappointing but I think we have to put it down as a racing incident. Racing Romain into Turn 8 we both locked up, I went wide, he went even wider, so I thought he ran off the track and I had Turn 9 to myself. That's why I took the apex, or went for the apex.
"But obviously he was still there, wheels made contact and the rest we've seen.
"Just a couple of flips, which obviously looks spectacular but is nothing really dramatic."