Barrichello sorry for early Spa exit

Rubens Barrichello has apologised to his Williams team, after an collision with Fernando Alonso meant a premature end to the Brazilian driver’s 300th Grand Prix.

As the rain fell in the race’s opening stages, Barrichello outbraked himself into the Bus Stop chicane and collided with Ferrari – although the latter continued unscathed.

The race proved to be even more disappointing for the Grove-based team when Nico Hulkenberg, who had ran in the points for large parts of the race, had to settle for fourteenth – after losing out when a late tyre gamble backfired.

Nico Hulkenberg – 14th: Pretty early on in the race I had a throttle control problem which made the car very difficult to handle, so we made an unscheduled stop, but the engine died in the box and had to be re-started. As a result I dropped position and then had to cope in the rain without the full engine control, which caused some spins. We took some tyre gambles at the end to try and recover something.

Rubens Barrichello – DNF: Despite my experience, it was very difficult to know how wet the track was on the opening lap, but it was fully wet when I came into Blanchimont. I was closing the door on Rosberg and when I touched the brakes, even though it was quite early, it wasn’t sufficient to stop the car. The car went straight on into Alonso, for which I’m sorry. It’s also sad for the team. We’ve had such a positive weekend that a good result would have been a nice conclusion. Despite not having a good outcome in my 300th race, I’m confident we will go well in the 301st!

Sam Michael, Technical Director: Today was not a good day with Rubens out on the first lap and Nico had a control system problem that compromised the driveability and caused the engine to cut in his pitstop. So looking forward, our pace is improving and we will perform better in the forthcoming races.