Ferrari: 2014 Formula 1 cars' ugly noses' significance overplayed

The impact of Formula 1's ugly noses on car performance has been overplayed, reckons Ferrari technical director James Allison

The key talking point at the launches of the 2014 cars has been on the various nose designs, which have proved to be different on each car.

But despite the interest, and the fact that noses have typically been a key area of car performance, Allison reckons that the various designs will not be the key factor in success this year.

Gallery: 2014 F1 designs so far

"If you look around you in the pitlane you will see there is a different nose on every car," he said.

"There is not too much similarity between any of the cars, and a reason for that is that the nose rules allow quite a lot of geometrical freedom. So you go off exploring the freedom.

"The reason that there isn't a single solution is that it isn't actually that sensitive an area, and there are lots of different solutions that work.

"I came from another team [Lotus] before, and that has a very aggressive solution I worked on that with the team. This car [Ferrari] has another solution.

"There is not that much in it - they are just good to talk about because they are right up at the front of the car."

F1 2014 tech: How nose controversy grew

Toro Rosso chief designer Luca Furbatto backed the view that the nose was not going to be critical to car performance this year, even though ultimately one design concept may prove to be the best.

"I think generally the front end is not going to be a problem for this year," he said.

"Maybe from an aesthetic point of view it is quite a dominant feature but overall in terms of performance I don't think it will make such a big difference."

Furbatto suggests that engine performance and reliability will have much more of an impact on the formbook in 2014.

"I think this year it will be certainly reliability of everything in the first few races, and the integration of the power units will be number one in terms of performance of the whole package," he said.

"And then aero will remain quite dominant but less so than in the past because, in the end, there is a balance between aerodynamic drag and performance from an engine consumption point of view.

"Then there is weight, because it is very tough to hit the weight limit, particularly if you've got a heavy driver. If you're running overweight that's also, performance wise, a big hit."

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