Racing Point technical director Andy Green was unimpressed with his team's simulations of F1's 2019 aero changes, saying that initial tests produced "the worst possible outcome".
In a bid to promote closer racing and more overtaking opportunities this season, Formula 1 has introduced an aero package that includes a less sophisticated front-wing design, simplified front brake ducts with no winglets and a wider, deeper rear wing.
Teams' design departments have composed with the changes, but Racing Point's Green admits that simulation has so far yielded underwhelming results in terms of performance and balance.
"It's been a big hit," Green told Motorsport.com.
"And when we first put it in the tunnel a few months ago, we're talking a few seconds of lap time, and a poorly balanced car as well.
"It was the worst possible outcome. Hopefully, it has some positives with respect to closer racing.
"We, like everyone else, have been trying to crawl our way out of the hole that we jumped into with these new regulations.
"It's significant and it's right up there with, not-quite a complete change of car, but it's pretty close."
Given the current and continued level of aerodynamic development, with teams seeking to recover the downforce lost through the introduction of the new regs, Green admits that his team, in its former Force India iteration and with limited resources, would have perhaps been dealt a big blow by the new regs.
"It's a big challenge," said Green. "I wonder if old Force India would have really struggled.
"Significant architectural changes would need to keep being developed throughout the season, we would be struggling. We're in a much better place now, it's going to help us."
As for the impact on the spectacle of racing of the 2019 rules, Green believes that F1 will "struggle to see a big difference following another car".
"I hope I'm wrong, I hope all this work will result in some positives in following another car," he said.
"But for the analysis we've seen, it looks relatively small."