Newey concerned with low nose regulations
Red Bull Racing's technical chief Adrian Newey has admitted to concern that the new lower nose regulations introduced in Formula One may have uninentionally made driver safety worse.
Speaking to reporters, Newey said at Jerez that the new regulations, even though they were introduced to increase safety in case of a back to front or sideways crash, the actual result may be very different.
"The regulation has been introduced following some research by the FIA which suggests that nose height reduces the chances of cars being launched," Newey said.
One example of an incident that the low noses should avoid is the coming together of Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen at Valencia during the European Grand Prix of 2010.
"So the accident that Mark Webber had when he hit the back of Heikki Kovalainen in Valencia a few years ago. I must admit I am concerned that the opposite may now happen, that cars submarine effectively. So if you hit the back of the car square-on, you go underneath it and you end up with the rear crash structure in your face which I think is a much worse scenario.
"And there have been some accidents where you think if a low nose would have possibly made things much worse? There was the accident a couple of years ago where Schumacher spun at the first corner and somebody mounted him - with a low nose that might that have made that worse.
"I guess it's like all these things; it might help in some scenarios, it hurts in others. It's one which I must admit I'm personally not in favour of."
Newey finalised by pointing out that whenever a car hits the rotating wheel of a car ahead, it's going to get launched due to the upward motion of the back of the wheel, no matter if there is a low or high nose involved.
Even though the changes are based on research by the FIA, it makes one wonder how far the rulemakers are relying on Formula One's experienced designers, as surely they should be allowed to put in their suggestions and concerns beforehand.