Both Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica have expressed concern that Formula One's revised aerodynamic regulations will lead to more problems for drivers, especially while they get used to their car's new dimensions.
The BMW Sauber pair both hinted that the wider front wing, in particular, could be a potential stumbling block as the increased likelihood of contact with other cars could spell the end of good results. The rewritten rulebook for 2009 will see the rear wing narrowed and made taller, while the front wing is lowered and widened by 40cm, and Heidfeld is concerned that the growth is too much.
“I can imagine that now we will see many more touches,” the German insisted, "Sitting inside the car, the driver cannot see the wing although, of course, you know it is there. However, in previous seasons, when you knew you could take a chance [and not damage the wing], now I think there will be more problems, especially at the start."
Team-mate Kubica, who joined Heidfeld in using the new aero package in post-season testing, was of similar opinion.
“It is too wide," the Pole told marca.com
, "I am curious to see how many of these wings will be flying in the first race in Australia - I believe that they are going to be flying from all sides.”
Heidfeld has also suggested that the revised configuration will make the cars harder to drive in 2009, although he admits that, even though BMW Sauber appears to be further developed than its rivals, its car remains largely a hybrid and far from the finished article that he and Kubica will campaign this season.
“If everything follows thus, the 2009 season will be very dangerous," the veteran claimed, "After my first lap in testing, I thought about returning to the pits because the other drivers did nothing but pass me. Compared to them, it seems that you are stopped - and, in addition to that, it is very easy to spin. It is very, very dangerous.”