FIA forces Red Bull to change camera slot on its Formula 1 car
|By Jonathan Noble||Wednesday, May 21st 2014, 17:29 GMT|
Red Bull will have to change the design of the front camera pods on its Formula 1 car from this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix following a clarification from the FIA.
The reigning champion team caused a surprise at the first race of the 2014 F1 season when its RB10 appeared with its mandatory nose-mounted cameras located inside the car - rather than externally as all teams have traditionally done.
Red Bull was able to do this because F1's rules do not state explicitly that the cameras need to be positioned externally.
Article 20.3.4 of F1's technical regulations demands that the cameras must lie within a box that is formed by "two vertical lines 150mm and 450mm forward of the front wheel centre line and two horizontal lines 325mm and 525mm above the reference plane."
However, the rules do not make any stipulation about where the cameras must lie in relation to the centreline of the car - which allowed Red Bull to mount them internally.
Having the cameras fitted inside the car delivered a small aerodynamic benefit for the team as it meant there was less interference with the airflow from the camera housings.
Red Bull was allowed to stick to its unique interpretation for the start of the season - with the team having to expose a small aperture in the nose so the camera lens could get a view - and tweaks were made for the last race in Spain.
However, ahead of the Monaco GP, the FIA has stepped in and said it does not consider the Red Bull camera housing to comply with the regulations.
It has made it clear that it interprets the rules as defining the cameras being mounted outside of the car.
This is because a drawing of the camera locations in the rules clearly indicates that they should be mounted externally.
It is believed that rival teams were considering following the Red Bull solution to change the location of the front cameras, which would have further annoyed F1's broadcasters.