Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg says he doesn’t understand why he was given a three-place grid penalty for the Japanese Grand Prix following his clash with Felipe Massa in Singapore.
Hulkenberg collided with Massa as the Williams was rejoining the race from the pits after making its first pitstop. He was forced out of the race on the spot, with Massa retiring later with gearbox problems.
“I’m quite frustrated for two reasons, obviously,” said Hulkenberg. “The race looked promising, so to finish it that early with that incident is very disappointing and annoying.
“I was on the racing line, ahead going into Turn 3, and he’s coming out of the pits and touches me on the back. It’s a bit strange, I don’t understand also why the penalty is given right away and they weren’t even listening to what the different views were.
“I saw him coming out of the pitlane, but afterwards I knew I was in front. And then I got hit in the back.”
Massa didn’t see the clash that way, and laid the blame squarely on Hulkenberg for the contact.
"I was going out of the pits, and I was inside [for the corner], so braked inside, he braked outside, he just turned like I wasn't there and he hit me,” complained Massa. “Even if he stayed on the right, and left me the space, it would have been possible to get better traction and overtake me at the next corner.
“I don't understand why he turned in on my car, so for sure it was his mistake."