As reported by ESPNF1 last weekend, several teams will have to make modifications to their diffuser designs ahead of the Australian Grand Prix after a ruling by the FIA clamping down on a loophole.
Discussions between the FIA and four teams - understood to be Force India, McLaren, Mercedes and Renault - took place in Bahrain about the size of starter motor holes in their diffusers which were believed to be too wide. While this was not a technical breach of the rules, the FIA's view was that it was not in accordance with the spirit of them.
As a result of FIA inspections and the meeting, a note has been sent out clarifying the exact dimensions allowed. This will mean the four teams will have to make changes before practice in Melbourne next Friday.
The team also had another reason to smile today as the FIA announced that outboard mirrors located on side pods would be banned from the Chinese Grand Prix onwards. Teams must now locate mirrors in their more conventional location – just as they are on the R30. While other teams will have to work on adapting their cars in time for China, we’ll be able to focus solely on improving performance.
Formula1.com wrote:Three races into the season the FIA have declared outboard mirrors too dangerous and have banned them. The ban was to come in at the forthcoming Chinese Grand Prix, but after the teams complained of time constraints, it will instead be introduced from May's Spanish race. Ferrari were the first team to place their mirrors on the extremities of their car's sidepods back in 2006 (see drawing). Since then several teams have designed similar solutions, and currently six - Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams, BMW Sauber, Force India and HRT - are using mirrors attached to the vertical turning vanes in front of the sidepods. Mirrors don't usually have a good aerodynamic shape, but by putting them in the flow of air coming from the front tyres - an area already disturbed by drag - their negative influence is reduced. The difference they make is thought to be approximately half of one-tenth of a second per lap.
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