ABU DHABI -- Nico Hulkenberg was involved in a scary, fiery accident at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when his car was knocked into a scary barrel roll on the opening lap.
Hulkenberg clipped the front of Romain Grosjean's Haas car at the chicane at the end of the long backstraight at Yas Marina. That sent his yellow and black Renault into the air, where it flipped over and landed against the barrier.
There was briefly a fire at the back end of his car. Hulkenberg opened his radio channel to say: ""Holy s---! I'm hanging here like a cow [??}. Get me out, there's fire, there's fire"
The trackside marshals were quickly on hand to extinguish the flames. The Renault was soon turned back onto its correct side and Hulkenberg was able to climb out of the car.
The stewards briefly investigated the incident but soon declared it would take no further action. Hulkenberg had passed Grosjean on the inside of the chicane but appeared to lose sight of the Haas car on the exit, with the Frenchman stuck on the inside when contact was made.
One concern immediately after the crash was that Hulkenberg could have been trapped inside the car as the rear bodywork caught fire.
Asked if the Halo cockpit protection, which exists to protect the driver from debris, stopped him getting out, Hulkenberg said: "I don't know to be honest at the point if the Halo blocked me or not. On the right I had the barrier anyway and there was a very small gap.
"Also when you are upside down it is not so easy to find all the buttons and all the things because everything feels very different. That was the first time for me having the car on the roof so I was sitting tight waiting for the marshals and they reacted very quickly and obviously got me out."