F1 News, Views and Reviews

Outboard Wing Mirrors Banned By The FIA From Chinese GP

The outboard wing mirrors used by various teams including front runners Ferrari and Red Bull Racing are set to be banned from the Chinese Grand Prix onwards if an FIA source is to be believed.

The source told Autosport Magazine that the mirrors, which amny teams use to be able to incorporate outboard aerodynamic systems, will face a ban from the next round of racing after complaints from drivers about poor rearward vision.   Many drivers were impeded during qualifying, a lot down to the shear number of cars on track now.  Drivers including Michael Schumacher and Pedro de La Rosa have been particularly vocal about blocking in the last round in Australia.

The mirrors were an idea Ferrari brought to the table in 2005, and it was not until 2007 that other teams copied the designs.  Now many cars carry the mirrors which will have to be moved to nearer the cockpit.

“Everyone has got a problem with mirrors,” said Sauber’s Pedro de la Rosa in Australia. “The reality is that the mirrors on the sidepods, they give you very small vision of what is happening behind and they vibrate a lot so you see very little.

“So if you don’t have a lot of information coming from the radio, then you have a problem. You can see when you have a car straight behind okay, but when it is two seconds behind you have no idea where it is.

“Everyone has the same problem, but since the mirrors have gone outboard this is a problem – as they are aerodynamic devices now.”

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, who finished 3rd in the Australian Grand Prix says that he is quite happy with where his mirrors are located.

“I have no problem with my visibility,” he insisted. “So, if it is the same I prefer to keep what I have, but we will see how it is going to be. I hope we don’t lose anything moving the mirrors from one side to the other.”

This years Williams features outboard wing mirrors


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