Romain Grosjean believes that the bigger rear wings will be a big factor on the racing in 2019, saying that driving a car without DRS is “like a parachute”.
For 2019, Formula One have introduced a wave of regulation changes aimed at improving the capabilities of cars racing wheel-to-wheel. Changes include wider, simpler front wings, bigger barge boards, and a bigger rear wing.
The bigger rear wing has also allowed for an increase in the opening for the drag reduction system, meaning the difference between an open and closed DRS is bigger compared to last year.
Haas’ Grosjean was asked about how the new regulations would affect the ability to follow another car closely, he conceded that he hadn’t spent any time driving behind a rival, but nevertheless believed the increase in the DRS slot would be a big factor when racing.
“The only thing that I haven’t had the chance to do yet is follow another car closely. When I was doing long runs I was hoping to follow someone and see how it went,” said Grosjean.
“Definitely when you don’t use your DRS you feel like a sitting duck on the straight, or like you’ve got a parachute on your back. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes into racing, but the DRS effect is big now. I haven’t really followed another car yet to find out if that’s changed a lot.
“Definitely, the feeling in the car is very good, and a lot better than last year and the year before. I don’t know if it’s the wide front wing that I like, but I’m happy with the car.
However, he believed that fans should wait to see the difference over a few races, as opposed to judging the changes at the first race in Melbourne, a track which is typically hard to pass on.
“I don’t know, but we shouldn’t overreact to the first race of the season in Melbourne, there’s not going to be a lot happening, but I think we should see.”