Hulkenberg: Regulation changes will shuffle F1 pack


Nico Hulkenberg thinks Formula One's regulation changes could bring the paddock closer together after years of Mercedes dominance.

For the third successive season Mercedes were crowned constructors' champions as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg battled for the drivers' title, the German eventually winning the fight.

The 2017 season will see cars that look more "aggressive" as part of revised aerodynamic regulations, with wider, heavier and fatter tyres set to provide more grip.

Front and rear wings will also be wider, with the latter expected to be lower than the 2016 models.

Hulkenberg believes the changes could work to help his new team Renault close the gap and become more competitive across the 20 races.

"This year I believe the cards will be reshuffled a little due to the regulation changes, so it could be a good opportunity for us [Renault]," he told the F1 website.

"We at Renault are working hard to catch up so we can put ourselves in a position where we can score some points. 

"I am very excited and super motivated to start work with my new team. But at the same time we have to be careful not to expect too much right away; we have to work hard - harder and better to catch the train back up.

"I am convinced that switching to a works team is the right step for me to achieve new successes. Both Renault and myself and challengers with good potential."

Reigning champion Rosberg will not be on the grid for Mercedes, though, after his shock retirement, which will be a disappointment for Hulkenberg for two very different reasons.

He added: "For sure it is a pity that Nico will not be back to defend his title. But I am also sure he knew what he was doing.

"For me - always the pragmatic person that I am - it will mean no more lifts to Grands Prix in his plane...that really sucks."