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'Penalties in China were centimeter decisions,' says Hulkenberg

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Nico Hulkenberg got caught out twice in China by heat-of-the-moment overtaking  maneuvers which earned him two time penalties from the race's stewards.

The Renault driver, who finished 12t last Sunday in Shanghai, was first handed a five-second time penalty for passing Romain Grosjean while the Virtual Safety Car was deployed.

He then incurred a ten-second penalty for  executing the same maneuver on Sauber's Marcus Ericsson!

"They were both centimetre decisions," said Hulkenberg on Thursday.

"The Grosjean one I struggle to remember, to be honest, because there were a lot of things.

"The Ericsson one I remember. I was coming with quite a big overshoot around the outside of him, I was sort of in the move, committed, and in Turn 2 you have a lot of steering angle.

"That's why I also didn't see the message on my display straight away. When I saw it I was already past. When I saw it I told the team, 'Guys, we have a bit of a situation here, I think it was OK, but it's tight.'

"I made them aware. You know the story."

The German driver suggested that he would have preferred for race control to tell him to give back the places rather than receive the penalties.

"It would have been nice, but on the other side it's quite hard for Charlie [Whiting] to monitor every single car and fight, because there's 20 cars out there," he  added.

"If anything we maybe could have asked him and say 'do we need to to give it back?' But it happened all very quickly.

"Without that, our race would have been a little bit different, but we wouldn't have scored a point from there."

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