Steiner predicts bigger gap to top three in 2019

  • 27 Dec 2018 17:11
  • comments 4
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner believes that the new aerodynamic regulations in 2019 will only increase the gap between the top three and the rest of the field. The new rules are in place to allow the cars to get closer together on the circuit following the recent increase of dirty air.

The new regulations include simplified front wings, lowered bargeboards, steeper and higher rear wings, and a ban on brake duct winglets. However, some teams have reported that there will be little difference compared to 2018, as they have found new ways to produce the downforce.

The gap between the top three (Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull) and the remainder of the field has increased in recent years, with midfield teams now fighting for the 'best of the rest' spot in fourth place.

And Steiner doesn't think the new rules will aid the push for more competitive racing: "With the gap this big, it should (be), and couldn’t be any different,” the Italian said.

“Because this is good people working at a high level and if they’ve got this more resources they should be doing better than the other ones, otherwise they’re doing something wrong.

“So I think in the beginning the gap should be bigger between the big ones and the smaller ones because there’s just so many more resources to get there. And they have more resources, they get even quicker.”

Haas had an improved 2018 season, battling Renault for fourth in the constructor's standings. However, it had to settle for fifth place, but driver Kevin Magnussen says that things just didn't fall into place for the American team last season.

"This year has felt like a lot of things that could go wrong did go wrong,” the former McLaren and Renault racer said. "It’s one of those where the wind is always a headwind, you know. I’m hoping for a bit of tailwind next year. That’s the thing, you have to take the blame for those things. Because you can always, no matter what the situation, have done something different.”

Replies (4)

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  • Oh I so hope that isnt the case. One of the best things about the 2018 grid was that it in general was tighter than my private budget.

    • + 0
    • Dec 27 2018 - 17:51
  • Kean

    Posts: 474

    Found this to be a rather muddled article. What Steiner is saying, the way I see it, is that because of the big three’s larger resources they will build more efficient cars according to the new rules, thus increasing the gap to the rest of the field. But they are referencing the new rules as if they in themselves are to blame. There is this talk about recovered downforce, making the new rules inconsequential. But the new rules are about decreasing dirty air, not downforce, or am I missing something? Does downforce and dirty air always go hand in hand? If these new rules decreases the dirty air, allowing for more close racing (between cars on equal level) while at the same time not having lost any downforce, isn’t that a good thing? Regardless of the introduction of these new rules, there would still be a gap between the big three and the rest of the field, but that is because of budgets. I hope that Brawn is right, and we will see more close racing between cars on equal level, i.e. The big three will be able to race each other closely, and the rest of the field will be able to race each other more closely.

    • + 0
    • Dec 28 2018 - 10:07
    • The way I've understood it is that the aim is to reduce dirty air by having a simplified front wing at the cost of said wing generating less downforce. The allegedly lower downforce isnt a feature but a side effect. The problem is: will they reduce the dirty air? Several teams, with Mercedes being one, found the dirty air to be a feature rather than a woe, as it made it harder to overtake their own cars, and have attempted and allegedly succeeded in reproducing the same effect while being within the new rules. Potentially implying that the rule change was for naught and might indeed increase the gap between the Top tier and the mid-low tiers further. Its kinda the tyre pressure situation or oil burning all over again, if you will. Kinda.

      • + 1
      • Dec 28 2018 - 14:23
  • I thought Steiner was Austrian from his accent. Anyway, if past history is any indicator, the top three will probably extend the gap. The front runners always seem to pull away 2-3 years after the change in formulae. Don't see why this would change now.

    • + 0
    • Dec 29 2018 - 05:00

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