The sidepods were expected to be bigger this year and we also got some very unrealistic small sidepods last year. So this was sort of voted upon as the best way. With your design it will be harder to hit the regs, so you'll need to find some sort of compromise (after all thats what it's about) maybe make them wider?
the nose rules will give you more front downforce, so the cop will move forward. The challenge is balancing this out and getting more from the rear. As you say, the beam wing and shallower rear wing make this harder. A good diffuser would work wonders
that sounds about right. It would be much lower, its just something carried over from last year. I presume there was a reason why, maybe to do with the cfd or something.