Niko Hulkenberg feels that the high cornering speeds of the 2022 F1 cars will make it difficult for other cars to follow them.
Ahead of the 2022 season, teams are preparing for massive changes in regulations. These changes have been brought about to bring the field closer and to promote better racing action on the track.
The aerodynamic tweaks have been a major area of focus, and the newer cars are expected to produce a lot less ‘dirty air’, allowing drivers behind them to follow the car comfortably. However, Aston Martin’s reserve driver Hulkenberg is not very optimistic about these changes.
Hulkenberg has not landed a full-time seat in the sport since 2019 when he drove for Renault. He took part in three races for Racing Point in 2020, filling in for Sergio Perez twice and Lance Stroll once, due to the two of them testing positive for Covid 19.
— Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) December 11, 2021
Since then, he’s acted as a reserve and development driver for the Silverstone based outfit. The 34-year retained his role in the team even after they rebranded into Aston Martin ahead of 2021.
Hulkenberg has spent a lot of time on the simulator, helping his teammates prepare for the 2022 season. Doing so, the German driver has noted that the cars don’t feel very different to the previous ones, which is concerning according to him.
Driving the 2022 F1 cars feels pretty much the same, says the Aston Martin reserve driver
The former Sauber driver went on to say that the cars are just as fast as their predecessors. They seem to produce a lot less downforce but are very fast around corners which he suspects will produce dirty air.
“From my initial experience, the new cars are pretty damn fast and not necessarily slower than the last generation,” said Hulkenberg. “The driving experience hasn’t changed that much either, at least in the simulator.”
From this season on I will publish small articles on current @F1 topics on LinkedIn. Today my first one and it’s about the new car. Feel free to check it out! #F1 #HulkReporthttps://t.co/QKAnWIBZZv via @LinkedIn
— Nico Hülkenberg (@HulkHulkenberg) January 9, 2022
“It will be very interesting to see whether these cars can really follow the car in front better. In the simulator, the cornering speeds are extremely high.”
“So the risk of ‘dirty air’ is still given and it’s difficult for me to imagine that following another car comfortably at these speeds will be easy.”
“Anyhow, I hope we will be positively surprised. Once pre-season testing starts drivers and teams will find out how the cars really behave on track,” he concluded.