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Hulkenberg unsure new regulations will make a difference

NEWS STORY
05/01/2017

Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg is unsure that the new regulations will mean an end to tyre management.

In recent years, other than gimmicks such as DRS one of the main bugbears for race fans has been the endless calls over team radio for drivers to manage their tyres and fuel.

Be it the leader (usually in a Mercedes) seeking to widen the gap to the opposition or a midfield runner hunting down the leaders, the call to save tyres or fuel usually means the end of any serious racing or change in the order.

The new regulations for this season, particularly in terms of tyres are meant to end this, but Nico Hulkenberg isn't so sure.

"I don't know at the moment how those cars and tyres will behave," he is quoted as saying by Autosport.

"It's a bit early for that, as I haven't felt and run those tyres," he admitted. "We will only know better once we start testing and have done a few races. I hope that they allow a bit more free pushing and not as much management, but I am not sure that will be the case."

With the new regulations for wet races still to be rubber-stamped, this is another area of concern, many drivers feeling that wet tyre technology has regressed.

In the wake of a soggy Brazilian Grand Prix - where Max Verstappen appeared to have no problems finding grip - Pirelli met with the drivers in Abu Dhabi to get their feedback. Among other suggestions was the introduction of another wet compound tyre.

"We have seen quite drastically in Brazil that we need to improve the ability of the tyre to cope with standing water and to drain more water," said Hulkenberg. "We knew that for some time but, because we had so few wet races, the subject was not picked up. But now obviously it is picked up because of us not being able to race.

"It was not really heavy rain," he said of the Interlagos event, "it was only drizzle but that was enough to get aquaplaning and to stop us racing."

Good thing that Pirelli didn't get its way and hold the pre-season tests in the desert then, at least Barcelona (in February) might allow a little wet running.

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