As of the Chinese GP, outboard mirrors attached to the sidepod panels are banned by the FIA. The design was introduced by Ferrari in 2006 but have eventually found unsafe. It was argued that with the wide position, drivers had to rotate their head to get a clear look, while the position of the mirrors themselves could reduce visibility and increase the blind spot, an important cause for collisions.
The sudden ban however raises questions as to why the governing body have not acted sooner. It was obvious that as soon as teams started to copy Ferrari, some incidents could have been avoided with the traditional, inboard mirror positions. And since they could have known, why not ban them before the start of the season, when regulations are still being set up.
Anyway, we're back to good old regular mirrors, but the image taken from the rear of this year's Renault shows there may still be issues to resolve. Even though there is a mandatory test to check if drivers can see behind their car, Renault's current mirror position somehow voids the minimum dimension specification of mirrors. Nearly half of the sight area is shaded by the car's shoulder bodywork.
As discussions are now well underway to set rules for next year, it could be a good time to improve the rear visibility test.