Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg has critiqued the 2019-spec Formula 1 rear wing. Apparently, he dubbed it a “parachute”. He explained that the extra makes it harder to compare Renault’s latest engine with last year’s.

For 2019, the FIA has green-lit a larger rear wing with a bigger DRS effect. This was supposed to be part of a new rules package designed to theoretically improve racing.

According to Hulkenberg’s account, this is affecting the handling of his Renault in a straight line.

Speaking about any potential difference in power between the two engines, the Gemran said, “I would say yes. But on the other hand, you know, we have a lot more drag with a big rear wing, so that obviously you have less of that sensation.”

“It’s like pulling a parachute now, you know, across the straight, and you just see that massive rear wing in the mirrors, and obviously that has an impact on the feel of power.”

Nico Hulkenberg
Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg hammered in the fastest time during the first week of testing in Barcelona. His assessment states that the RS19 as a whole, does not feel any different to its predecessor, inspite of the front wing changes.

“It doesn’t feel a completely different animal, it was more of a feeling like coming home,” he continued.

“For me anyway it hasn’t changed that much. We have the same steering wheel for example, the seating position is very similar, so perhaps I also wasn’t expecting a huge difference.”

“Obviously the aero regulations it was difficult to kind of judge and anticipate how that would impact the feeling, but for now it’s not so different.”

Hulkenberg confessed that he did not increase his body weight to take advantage of the new 80kg minimum for the driver/seat package.

However, he is of the opinion that lighter drivers have less of an advantage now in terms having margin for using ballast.

“To be honest, all my career I’ve been at one number,” Hulkenberg continued. “I have like my fighting weight, you know, my happy place, and that’s 78kg basically. So two kilos below 80.”

“That’s where I want to be and where I need to be, and more or less where I can be, not much less.”

“But I just see it, the lighter drivers have an advantage taken away from them, one that they used to have, now they don’t have anymore, so it should be just a bit more fair. But I don’t think that’s really a measurable advantage for me.”