On this day of 2018: Nico Hulkenberg survives spectacular crash at Abu Dhabi GP

Nico Hülkenberg looking thoughtful

Nico Hulkenberg got off without injury despite being trapped when his Renault caught fire during the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that day in 2018.

World champion Lewis Hamilton finished the year with an 11th victory, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen finished second and third respectively under the spotlight at the Yas Marina circuit.

But we remember the race of dead rubber for the Hulkenberg accident in the first lap.

The German tumbles in the air following a collision with Romain Grosjean at the ninth turn, before landing upside down and precariously against the air barriers.

Flames briefly erupted from the back of his yellow Renault, with Hülkenberg unable to exit.

“I’m hanged like a cow,” the panicked driver said over the radio. “Take me out. There is fire. There is fire !

To highlight the drama of the incident, TV footage filmed British pop star Sam Smith and former Spice Girl Geri Horner with their jaws open in disbelief as they watched from the Red Bull garage.

Hollywood superstar Will Smith put his hand over his mouth.

Hulkenberg was still upside down and strapped into his Renault. Security officials rushed to the scene before the flames went out and, after more than three minutes, they carefully put the car back on four wheels.

Then 31, the driver was taken to the medical center where the FIA, the Formula 1 sports federation, said he was shaken but escaped the incident unscathed.

“It wasn’t the most comfortable situation to be in,” Hulkenberg said.

“There was a little barbecue in the back, so I just wanted to go out. You feel quite helpless.

About Victoria Rothstein

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