The bimodal nature of the horizontal branch (HB) of NGC 1851 is known since Stetson (1981). In order to better understand the properties of its HB, we collected a set of data at the ESO-NTT telescope, which provides a full coverage of the cluster area. Additional archive images from the HST-WFPC camera have been used in order to study the central region. The resulting c-m diagram (CMD) for 20500 stars is presented in Fig. 1 (left). Despite its metallicity ([Fe/H]=−1.3), NGC 1851 presents a well defined blue HB tail, besides the expected red clump. The observed CMD has been compared with the synthetic ones. The bimodal HB can be reproduced assuming that there are two stellar populations in the cluster, with an age difference of ∼ 4 Gyr, hypothesis not supported by other properties of the CMD. On the other side, if we assume that the stars in NGC 1851 are 15 Gyr old (as suggested by the difference between the HB and the TO luminosities), only a bimodal mass loss can reproduce the HB morphology: only stars with higher than standard mass loss rate are able to populate the blue-HB (BHB) tail (Fig. 1,left). There are no observational evidences for a bimodal distribution of other parameters (He, CNO, etc.).