Formula One: 'Outboard' mirrors set to be banned for China - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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Formula One: 'Outboard' mirrors set to be banned for China

NST Online Formula One: 'Outboard' mirrors set to be banned for China

Formula One: 'Outboard' mirrors set to be banned for China


SEPANG: Formula One drivers on Friday welcomed news that so-called “outboard mirrors” are likely to be banned from the Chinese Grand Prix later this month.

The mirrors, set on the cars’ side-pods, have been blamed for a host of accidents and near-misses in the opening two Grands Prix this season, and are set to be replaced by mirrors set in a better position on the drivers’ cockpit.

The move is being taken by the International Motoring Federation (FIA) on safety grounds, according to drivers including Williams’ veteran Rubens Barrichello and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel.

In Australia, another veteran, Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa, was involved in two alarming incidents during practice and qualifying when he failed to see fast cars approaching to pass him.

One was world champion Briton Jenson Button of McLaren who said, at the time, that “Sauber need to look at their mirrors and get some new ones fitted.”

Dela Rosa apologised for his part in the incidents and said: “Everyone has got a problem with mirrors.

“But, the reality is that the mirrors on the sidepods, well, 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. They have become aerodynamic devices now.”

This view, that the cars have been designed with the mirrors to aid the air-flow rather than provide clear rear-viewing for the driver, has been supported by Vettel.

“We have no concerns for this weekend (about mirrors), but we are much more concerned that, from the next race onwards, we’ll have to run the mirrors inboard — and our car is losing quite some performance due to that,” he said.

Red Bull and Ferrari have the most obviously dramatic examples of mirrors mounted on the side-pods — and potentially the most to lose in performance. -- AFP
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