Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Bigger rear wing feels like a parachute – Hulkenberg

2019 F1 season

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Nico Hulkenberg says the larger rear wings on the new cars for the 2019 F1 season create a significant amount of drag.

Asked whether he could sense an improvement from his first run with Renault’s new power unit at the Circuit de Catalunya this morning Hulkenberg replied: “I would say yes.

“But on the other hand you know we have a lot more drag with the big rear wing so obviously you have less of that sensation. It’s like pulling a parachute now across the straight. You just see that massive rear wing in the mirrors and obviously that has an impact on the feel of power.”

The maximum permitted dimensions of the rear wings have been increased this year to make up for some of the downforce lost due to the simpler front wings teams must now use.

Hulkenberg was restrained in his initial comments after his first morning in the RS19. “First impressions are OK, I would say just alright for now,” he explained.

“The car ran without any big problems this morning, 65 laps I think is a decent start. It doesn’t feel a completely different animal, it was more of a feeling like coming home.

“For me, anyway, it hasn’t changed that much. We have the same steering wheel for example, the seating position is very similar. Perhaps I also wasn’t expecting a huge difference. Obviously the aero regulations it was difficult to kind of anticipate how that would impact the feeling but for now it’s not so different.”

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Bigger rear wing feels like a parachute – Hulkenberg”

  1. Hmmmm, I don’t think these are positive comments really. Most drivers are keen to extoll the virtues of their new car.

    1. @guybrushthreepwood maybe he’s hiding something, probably under that enormous rear wing…

      1. @guybrushthreepwood
        I think they ran with the DRS closed. And also i dont think they have tried the C3 (yellow) yet.

  2. The drivers reactions to the initial tests are a very interesting point to take note. If they seem restrained like Hulkenberg apparently was, and his remarks are kinda neutral at best, that does not transmit a very feeling good from him.
    They were the slowest team and if drivers are not happy with the car, it can be a bad omen…
    But of course too early to draw any conclusions, even though I already have some hunches

  3. Call it a hunch and I know it’s mega early, but I have bad feelings about this team and their performance. It wouldn’t surprise me if this car was an absolute dog this year and wastes two high quality drivers. I’ve got a bad vibe and I don’t know why. I hope I’m wrong, I like them.

  4. Renault not running the DRS on day one testing? Perhaps that’s why the lap times are not as you’d expect from them?

    1. and a high AOT

  5. Pretty hard these days to stall the rear wing. The rules are so tight.

    Drivers should be allocated DRS time for Attack & Defend. How they use it in a race is up to them. More strategy and more balance for all.

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