NICO Hulkenberg has accepted responsibility for a terrifying crash in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.

The German, who drives for Enstone-based Renault, hit the back of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso at the first corner.

It resulted in the Spaniard’s car careering over the Sauber of Charles Leclerc, whose halo, which protects the driver, was damaged, but all three drivers walked away.

Hulkenberg has received a ten-place grid penalty for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, with three penalty points applied to his race licence.

Speaking after the incident at Spa on Sunday, the 31-year-old said: “When I hit the brakes, it locked up the front wheels and I slid.

“These cars are aerodynamically sensitive, especially with cars bunching up ahead as you lose a lot of grip and load.

“I have to admit it caught me by surprise.

"It was probably a misjudgement from my side as I was a bit late on the brakes, so it’s frustrating for me, the team, and the other drivers caught up in the incident.

“That’s racing and unfortunately these things happen.

“We have Monza next weekend, so I want to get this out of the system as soon as possible and focus on that.”