Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Hulkenberg faces penalty after team fail to declare wing change

2019 Spanish Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Nico Hulkenberg could face a grid penalty for today’s Spanish Grand Prix after his team failed to notify the FIA it had changed his front wing specification.

The Renault driver had a new front wing fitted after he hit a barrier in Q1. The team fitted a different specification of front wing main plane.

“The part has been replaced during qualifying session 1, with a retrospective written request of the Renault F1 team received at 19:33,” noted FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer.

“The team did not mention in their request that the front wing main plane is one of a different specification,” he added. “I am referring this matter to the stewards for their consideration.”

The rules state that after a car leaves the pits for the first time in Q1, “the aerodynamic set up of the front wing may be adjusted using the existing parts” but “no parts may be added, removed or replaced.”

Hulkenberg is 16th on the provisional grid for today’s race. He said he was “disapointed” with himself for the crash that led to the front wing change.

“I made a mistake on the first run, touched the wall slightly and we had to change the front wing and we also suffered bargeboard damage. If you make mistakes, you pay for them. We could have made Q2 at a minimum today.”

Don't miss anything new from RaceFans

Follow RaceFans on social media:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

13 comments on “Hulkenberg faces penalty after team fail to declare wing change”

  1. Nice. Renault really are a shambles right now.

    1. They have caught the McLaren bug.

      1. Blame the engine?

  2. I’m confused by that rule: what’s its aim exactly? What the FIA is trying to prevent the team from doing with it?

    1. @x303 – the cars are under parc ferme conditions once qualifying starts, so you can’t put a new design/spec to replace an older/broken part. Within limits and with FIA approval, you can change parts like-for-like. Otherwise, we’d have people gaming the regs by using one aero package for quali, they bump and damage it on the way back to the pits, and use another aero package for the race.

      1. @phylyp I thought the parc ferme rule come into effect only ones qualifying has finished, i.e., lasts for the period between the end of QLF and the start of the race of any given GP weekend?

        1. @jerejj – mmm, good question. We are in agreement that it ends when the race starts, but now you’ve got me wondering when parc ferme begins!

          OK, just confirmed:

          the cars are deemed to be under parc ferme conditions for a much longer period – from the time they first exit the pits during qualifying until the start of the formation lap immediately prior to the race.

          So start of quali to start of the formation lap.

          1. @phylyp OK, thanks for the clarification. I hadn’t thought of that before.

          2. @jerejj – you’re welcome. And remember, the regs are so intricate that even the professionals get it wrong (remember Williams sending Kubica out too early a fortnight ago?) :)

        2. ‘comes’

      2. Thank you for the clarification @phylyp!

  3. Tobi Grüner said that another team made FIA aware that Renault used a different spec front wing in qualifying. Haas?

Comments are closed.