Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Stewards order pit lane start for Hulkenberg due to wing change

2019 Spanish Grand Prix

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Nico Hulkenberg will start the Spanish Grand Prix from the pit lane after being penalised for changing his front wing specification during Q1.

According to the rules, after a car leaves the pits in Q1 “no parts may be added, removed or replaced” to its aerodynamic set-up.

Renault fitted a different front wing main plan section to Hulkenberg’s car after he damaged his first one in a crash at turn four. It did not declare that the two wings were of different specification, and FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer subsequently discovered the difference and reported the team to the stewards.

“The stewards reviewed the evidence from the technical delegate and sought clarification from the team sporting director. The sporting director advised that the team’s opinion was that the front wing main plane was ‘similar’ to the one it replaced however the team was willing to accept the view of the FIA technical delegate that the front wing is of a different specification from the one used during qualifying.

“Accordingly, the stewards determine that the competitor is required to start the race from the pit lane.”

Hulkenberg’s penalty means both Renault drivers have now been docked places on the grid. Daniel Ricciardo had a three-place grid penalty from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Compare the two different versions of Renault’s front wing

Compare the differences between the front wing specifications which led to Hulkenberg’s penalty.

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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...

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13 comments on “Stewards order pit lane start for Hulkenberg due to wing change”

  1. Things are going well at Renault

    1. Looks like they took a gamble that they might get away with (not too much risk since where Hulk was starting from anyway) @fer-no65

  2. But doesn’t the parc ferme come into effect only ones qualifying has finished, i.e., last for the period between the end of QLF and the start of the race of any given GP weekend?

    1. @jerejj Nope, it’s from the first time you leave the garage in Q1.

  3. The sliding graphic is amazing btw, bravo @keithcollantine

  4. Not the Hulks weekend is it. :/

  5. The way Nico explained it was they had to refer back to old spec wing after he damaged the new one. If true what were they supposed do? It’s funny how Merc & RBR can run illegal wings in the first couple races and get no penalty then something like this happens..

    1. Don’t pervert facts!
      No one was running illegal wings.

      Changing specs once a new technical directive is issued doesn’t mean that previous versions have been “illegal”.

      1. * … during the previous rounds, before the technical directive has been issued.

      2. My apologies. You are right. Back to Renault. What can they do if they did not have another new spec wing?

        1. @ming-mong they would probably got away with it had they notified the FIA or race direction of the change and the reason for change. But they didn’t and still claimed it was the same wing but Bauer found differences (in less than 24 minutes, not hours 😎 ) so can’t really be the same, right?

        2. Ian Thomas (thelem)
          14th May 2019, 12:42

          They could have brought more new spec wings to the race. If that was not possible, they could have chosen to play it safe by running the old spec wing. With this rule in place they were (perhaps unknowingly) taking the gamble that they would not damage the front wing in qualifying.

  6. @bakano – Thats fair enough if they were not being clear with the FIA. Nico’s comments may have not helped as he clearly said it was an old spec wing.

Comments are closed.