The FIA is cracking down on winglets added to wing mirrors following the emergence of such a design by Ferrari at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Ferrari ran with its wing mirrors attached to the Halo — which is legal — but included an aerodynamic winglet above the mirror that was attached via a thin piece of bodywork. Force India’s technical director Andy Green said he felt such a design would be illegal, having analyzed its potential before Spain, but Ferrari was allowed to run with it during the race as it was deemed to be allowed by the regulations.
However, the FIA has now issued a technical directive to the teams regarding wing mirrors, suggesting anything attached to the mirror “must be predominantly for structural reasons rather than aerodynamic influence.”
“The FIA would like to clarify its position with regard to rear view mirror mountings,” a statement read. “Whilst the FIA accepts that teams will legitimately design the mirrors, housings and mountings to minimize any negative aerodynamic effects they may cause, we believe that any aerodynamic benefits should be incidental, or at least minimal. In order to ensure this is the case all mountings must:
“(A) Provide a meaningful structural contribution to the mounting system. If you use more than one mounting you may be asked to satisfy us, by way of a physical test, to demonstrate this.
“(B) Be mounted to the lower and/or inboard surface(s) of the mirror housing.
“As the criteria for determining the eligibility of a mounting are to some extent subjective, the FIA would be available to discuss the legality of a new design before you introduce it in a race, to avoid wasting resource, time or money.”
While the FIA confirms Halo-mounted mirrors are legal, the second point means Ferrari must make changes to its solution as the mounting in question is attached to the top of the mirror. The FIA says it expects all solutions to comply with the regulations from the next race in Monaco.
However, the governing body recognizes that the current regulations allow for teams to pursue different avenues when it comes to the wing mirrors, and it plans on seeking better clarity for next season.
“The FIA do acknowledge that the rules currently in force with regard to mirrors are not perfect, and will strive to propose a more complete set of rules in terms of mirror position, mountings, visibility, etc. in the near future, with the aim to get a unanimous support for such changes for 2019.”