Overtaking 'almost impossible' in 2017 F1 cars, says Hulkenberg

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg described overtaking as "almost impossible" in the Australian Grand Prix, as the first race with Formula 1's new cars left several drivers concerned

Overtaking 'almost impossible' in 2017 F1 cars, says Hulkenberg

The 2017 cars are faster and wider than their predecessors, with more aerodynamic performance and more grip from bigger Pirelli tyres.

Hulkenberg was quicker than Force India's Esteban Ocon in the closing stages of the race but said he could do nothing to get past.

"I was hoping he would have a little bit of a problem on the soft and I was obviously on the ultra soft," said Hulkenberg.

"But quickly I understood that it wasn't going to happen.

"And these cars, the dirty air is huge, so overtaking - almost impossible.

"I probably could have gone more than a second quicker, but it's just not in there."

Hulkenberg and Ocon were involved in a spectacular three-wide moment on the run into Turn 1 during a battle with Fernando Alonso's McLaren-Honda.

However, Ocon said it was only made possible by an unexpected error from Alonso.

"Me and Nico were a lot faster than Fernando, but we couldn't get close so that was very tough," he said.

"He did a small mistake out of Turn 12 and I managed to get close and get my shot."

Hulkenberg said that was the highlight of his race, adding: "It was bloody fast there, it was like flying because these cars give quite big tows.

"I had a double tow, DRS, and full-power mode on - it was like 'ahhh!'."

BATTLING PEREZ JOINS LIST OF CRITICS

Sergio Perez passed Daniil Kvyat on the first lap and Carlos Sainz Jr round the outside at Turn 3 when the Toro Rosso was on an outlap.

The Mexican said you could follow cars closely but drivers would need a huge pace advantage to overtake in normal conditions.

"It's harder to overtake because you have shorter brake distances, shorter grip-limited zones, less degradation," he said.

"If before 1.5 seconds was enough, probably now you need two seconds."

Drivers at the front joining the midfield runners in voicing their concerns.

Lewis Hamilton said the overtaking problem is "probably worse now than it's ever been" and fears it will stay the same for the season.

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen caught Kimi Raikkonen over the final third of the grand prix but started to struggle as soon as he got "within two seconds" of the Ferrari.

RAIKKONEN, HORNER URGE PATIENCE

Raikkonen called for patience and perspective, saying it was "never going to be easy" to overtake in F1.

"It's only one race and this circuit is far from let's say a normal circuit," he said.

"Some circuits will be more easy, some more harder in a year.

"We have to see how it goes in the next races."

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner agreed, adding: "There's never been a lot of overtaking here.

"Let's wait for China and Bahrain, which are two of the more easier circuits to overtake at, before drawing any judgement."

shares
comments
Vettel and Hamilton relishing prospect of fight for Formula 1 title
Previous article

Vettel and Hamilton relishing prospect of fight for Formula 1 title

Next article

Carlos Sainz Jr wants Toro Rosso to address its F1 car's handling

Carlos Sainz Jr wants Toro Rosso to address its F1 car's handling
Load comments
How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021