The four main things we have learnt from the #BudaTest
- What’s going on with Ricciardo’s contract? Remember when an announcement was expected for the Austrian GP? On Tuesday, the Aussie driver admitted that he was heading into the summer break with nothing sorted out… Well, maybe we are being dramatic, but at least some details are still pending: “Just a little bit of fine-tuning here and there. It’s all good.”
A deal should have been done by the time F1 arrives to Spa (04/08/2018 – now we know! It’s Renault!).
- Pirelli will fine-tune its range. On Wednesday, the debrief at Pirelli’s hospitality was very revealing about their 2019 plans.
According to Mario Isola, the names of next year tyres will become simpler, by just talking about hard, medium and soft compounds in every race. This measure will put an end to Supers, Ultras, Hypers and similar denominations, at least for the general public. We’re still going to have five to six compounds for the whole year, but they could well be called by numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5… instead of Hard, Medium, Soft, Supersoft, Ultrasoft… Pirelli is still considering this last change.
- The wider front wing fits its purpose (apparently). Notwithstanding that it is too early to get into details, drivers like Oliver Rowland (Williams) and Nicholas Latifi (Force India) confirmed that the new 2019-spec front wings provided them with a bit less downforce.
It must be taken into account that teams like Williams, Force India and Renault just bolted a prototype wing from next year onto their 2018 F1 car. The new rules concerning this part of the car state that they must be 200 mm wider and 25 mm deeper than this year’s. That way, the powers-that-be expect that drivers can race closer to each other without being compromised by the dirty air of the car in front.
- Kubica keeps improving and we’ll see him again in Abu Dhabi testing. The Pole was called by Williams to help them with data collection for next year’s car, but he had very few things to say about the task bar describing the new part: “It’s wider.” In order to learn “how the airflow is going to distribute”, Williams opted for using flow-vis over the front of the car, something that Kubica referred to as the “new livery for next year”.
Twelve months ago, Robert Kubica completed his first public day with Renault: “After 12 months, I can say that everything is easier. Now everything is more familiar for me with the modern generation of Formula 1 cars.”
Interestingly, he was one of the few drivers that didn’t try the hypersoft, committing entirely to soft and ultrasoft runs.