Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg has predicted that the current F1 cars are capable of breaking Porsche’s Spa record set in the WEC. The 3-time WEC champions set a “record” lap at the Spa Francorchamps with a modified version of its LMP1 car.
2015 Le Mans winner Hulkenberg admitted that he was in the dark on their plan to develop the 919 Hybrid Evo. “I think it’s just a fun project,” he said.
He wished to have a crack at driving the car, but admitted that his Renault F1 contract would make things difficult. Porsche driver Neel Jani banged in a 1’41.770, but Hulkenberg thinks that it will last until F1 arrives for the Belgian Grand Prix.
“I think when we come around this year we’re going to smash that record, or someone will,” he said.
Toro Rosso driver Brendon Hartley is also an ex-Porsche driver. The Kiwi raced for the German team until the end of last season. He said that the lap time was “a big achievement”. However, Porsche’s WEC drivers were under he impression that the car was heavily limited by the series’ regulations.
“I know how restrictive the rules were in the WEC to keep the car slower. So in a way we always expected that there was so much more performance especially if you had more fuel.
“We had such a big electric engine that was also restricted on power [and] I know they’ve increased the downforce and DRS and all these things. It’s very impressive the lap time they’ve done.”
Jani broke Lewis Hamilton’s pole position time for last year’s Belgian Grand Prix by 0.783 seconds. Porsche’s Spa record was also 12.327 seconds faster than the 2017 pole lap for the WEC round at Spa. Coincidentally, that lap time was also set by Porsche.