The FIA is undertaking a clampdown on Formula 1’s 2014 noses to ensure they meet required safety standards, amid ongoing debate about their designs.
One of the main talking points of the new F1 cars that have run at Jerez this week have been the “ugly” noses. While the look of the cars has been the main topic of conversation for fans and team bosses, F1’s governing body has also decided to take a closer look at the situation on safety grounds.
The FIA has written to the teams to demand they supply it with information about the structural integrity of the nose tips. In a technical directive that was sent to teams on Thursday, the FIA has asked for comparison data between the noses on last year’s cars and this year’s. It has asked for information about “Cross sectional areas of the nose, taken vertically and normal the car centerline, at points 50mm, 150mm and 300mm back from the tip of the nose itself. The same cross-sections as above showing the construction of the parts in the relevant sections.”
The directive added: “In both cases we are only interested in the nose itself, not the front wing or hangers.”
It is understood that some teams have exploited the regulations to produce noses that comply with both the technical regulations and crash tests, but may not actually be tough enough to provide maximum protection in the event of an accident. The new information will allow the FIA to confirm that the 2014 designs are not weaker than last year’s versions.
Although the FIA would not be able to rule the noses illegal on grounds they breach the rules on dimensions or crash tests, there is a catch-all regulation that would allow it to act if it deems they are not strong enough.
Article 2.3 of F1’s Technical Regulations says cars can be thrown out of events if the FIA stewards do not believe that they are safe. It states: “The stewards of the meeting may exclude a vehicle whose construction is deemed to be dangerous.”