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Hulkenberg: Dirty air 'as bad as it's ever been'

  • Published on 27 Jun 2019 18:41
  • comments 3
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Nico Hulkenberg says the current struggle the drivers endure with turbulent air is as bad as it has ever been in Formula 1.

The 2019 rule changes to the aerodynamics were aimed at reducing the amount of downforce that the cars produce in order to allow drivers to follow each other more closely.

However, drivers have still been struggling despite the changes, as teams have managed to find other methods of producing downforce.

Hulkenberg believes that the difficulty of following another car is worse than ever before, following on from the French Grand Prix where he was stuck behind Kimi Raikkonen for much of the race.

"I feel it's as bad as it's ever been," said the Renault driver. "Especially when you get really close, within five tenths. If the guy ahead has a wobble, makes a mistake and you end up close, the sudden loss of grip is sometimes breathtaking.

"You're forced to just get off the throttle otherwise it's like hitting the Chinese wall or taking the ground below your feet.

Hulkenberg added that F1 needs radical changes rather than simple aero tweaks, but is confident "that's where it's heading".

With Renault recently admitting that it may look beyond Hulkenberg for the 2020 season, the German says that it is still too early to think about or discuss his future. 

"At the moment, there is no rush. It's still very early in the year so we'll see how things go."

Replies (3)

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  • Surely he will stay though? In terms of cost to points, he is a bargain, even if he demands a raise.

    Mind, if the air is as dirty as ever, then I wonder if the rule changes were actually worth it. Looking at it, it seems the most impactful change was that the DRS is at times too powerful now. I get that they wanted more overtakes to "spice up the show", but the kinda overtakes we saw last year were more quality than quantity, which I preferred. It's no fun if there is a 1-hit-kill button you can just push and "vroom" you are through and ready to blast off into the distance.

    • + 0
    • Jun 28 2019 - 05:16
  • When downforce is created by aerodynamic aids the airflow will always be disrupted. The faster cars go, the greater the disruption will be. The wings need to be simplified and they need to do without the extra vanes and winglets adorning the cars then the cars might be slightly slower but less affected by following.
    It seems F1 teams have created an impossible situation where they have extracted so much performance out of the cars that they can no longer follow in dirty air. I can’t see any way of changing this other than slowing the cars down.

    • + 0
    • Jun 28 2019 - 14:16
  • Interesting he says that about dirty air. If you look at the ability of the cars to follow closely it sure looks like they are able to follow more closely without getting washed out like they were last year. I suspect part of his bitching has to do with not being able to get by Kimi for basically the whole race.

    • + 0
    • Jun 29 2019 - 13:30

AT Grand Prix of Austria

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    12:00 - 13:00

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AT Grand Prix of Austria

Local time 

  • Fridayweather-image

  • Free practice 1

    11:00 - 12:30

    Free practice 2

    15:00 - 16:30

  • Saturdayweather-image

  • Free practice 3

    12:00 - 13:00

    Qualifying

    15:00 - 16:00

  • Sunday weather-image

  • Race

    15:10 - 17:10

    Fastest lap

    15:10 - 17:10

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