Hulkenberg backs Vettel on downforce 'holes' causing F1 spins

Nico Hulkenberg believes it is hard for Formula 1 outsiders to understand how sensitive modern cars are in battle, following Sebastian Vettel's downforce "hole" theory to explain his recent spins

Hulkenberg backs Vettel on downforce 'holes' causing F1 spins

Vettel's world title hopes have faded in recent races thanks to a string of mistakes, having spun in Italy, Japan and the United States while engaging in wheel-to-wheel battle.

The Ferrari driver thinks the downforce "hole" left by rivals' cars could be a factor in explaining his series of "weird" spins.

While that has been met with scepticism from some parties, Renault driver Hulkenberg said it is a legitimate phenomenon having fought in the midfield all season, and defended his fellow German for his mistakes.

"A few bad qualis and then he has to take bigger risks in the race to make up places," said Hulkenberg.

"With bigger risks, these errors can happen much, much easier.

"It's just a fact of that, he's pushing hard trying to keep his title hopes alive. I don't see it too critical or too bad.

"The other thing that is hard to understand from the outside is in a fight with these cars that are so senstitive on the aero side it is so easy to lose the car and spin off like happened last week.

"It happens very easily - it's hard for outsiders to understand how easy it is to do that."

Vettel needs to win this weekend's Mexican Grand Prix and hope championship leader Lewis Hamilton finishes eighth or lower to remain in the title hunt.

Hamilton would not be drawn on his rival's errors ahead of the weekend.

"Everyone's always trying to find something negative to comment," he said.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. As a team, to get to where we are right now, I feel like we've earned them.

"Maybe wouldn't have had such big a gap if certain things had not happened within the season."

shares
comments
Toro Rosso insists no 2019 F1 line-up decision before December
Previous article

Toro Rosso insists no 2019 F1 line-up decision before December

Next article

Mexican Grand Prix practice: Verstappen fastest then breaks down in FP2

Mexican Grand Prix practice: Verstappen fastest then breaks down in FP2
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Plus

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022