Nico Hulkenberg was being ultra-cautious after bad start in F1 Bahrain GP, but still tapped the back of him to compromise his race.

Having started inside the Top 10, Haas’ Hulkenberg had hoped for a consistent stay inside the points to try and score something in F1 Bahrain GP. But he had a poor getaway, which hurt his chances as it eventually led a collision with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

He tapped the back of Stroll at Turn 1, which spun the Canadian around. Hulkenberg was forced to pit and dropped back. He said he was being ultra-cautious but still hit him which he has to check again to understand what exactly happened.

“The start wasn’t ideal,” said Hulkenberg to media. “I think you can say that. And then, of course, it got tight in Turn 1. I’ll have to watch the replay to see what happened, because from my perspective I left space with Lance. Then I crashed into him unexpectedly. Someone said that Bottas might have given me a little push.

“Can happen, of course. It all started at the start. It was pretty cheesy, frustrating, bitter. Just like last year. It’s not a nice feeling. I wouldn’t say that. I don’t know what was going on. I was very, very careful from my perspective going into Turn 1 because I had a miserable start anyway. I was really careful.

“I saw Lance and I was really paying attention. I have to look at it again. Because from my perspective, I was ultra-cautious. When it came to the contact, I thought: ‘Huh, how can that be?’ I had actually left room. But that was the beginning of the end. Very, very frustrating and annoying.

“However, I think the pace and tyre management were much better than in the twelve races last year. So that’s the positive thing we can take away from here. In terms of speed, we are currently in the midfield. Of course, we have to maintain that somehow,” summed up Hulkenberg, as Stroll managed to recover himself to score a point.

It was a maximum he would have achieved anyhow considering teammate Fernando Alonso finished just ahead in ninth. “It feels good to score a point after running last after the first lap of the race,” said Stroll. “I had a good getaway off the line, but then got tagged by Nico and fell to the back of the pack.

“I knew it would be a long race from there, but I focussed on managing the tyres and made a few passes on track. The team gave me a good strategy, too. We know we’ve got some work to do as we develop the AMR24 and unlock some more pace, but it’s a long season and we’ll keep pushing.”

Here’s what happened on Lap 1:

Here’s how F1 Bahrain GP panned out

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