Formula 1 set to change rear wing to help mirror visibility

Formula 1 rear wings are set to be raised higher in 2019 and the position of mirrors changed as part of measures agreed to help driver visibility, Autosport has learned

Formula 1 set to change rear wing to help mirror visibility

The FIA has been looking into the current cars' rearward vision problems since the start of the year.

Its work accelerated after a near-miss involving Carlos Sainz Jr and Sebastian Vettel in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix.

An initial push to impose changes for the Singapore GP was abandoned, but discussions with teams in technical regulations meetings have now resulted in a raft of tweaks to the rules.

These changes still need approving at F1's next Strategy Group meeting and at the FIA's World Motor Sport Council before being put in the rules, but this is likely to be a formality.

The new rules will include the raising of the rear wing by 50mm in order to create a bigger window of visibility between the lower surface of the main plane and the top surface of the sidepod.

A more prescriptive mirror position will be laid out in the rules, stipulating a lower and more outboard position.

There will also be stricter rules on mirror mountings to try to ensure teams do not prioritise performance gains over safety matters.

The debate about the need for a change in the mirror rules resurfaced at the Belgian GP when an unsighted Stoffel Vandoorne was accidentally pushed off the track by Valtteri Bottas, who said he could not see the fast-approaching McLaren driver, in final practice.

Asked by Autosport about the current mirrors, Bottas replied: "For me, it is a bit more difficult than it has been.

"The main thing is the position of the rear wing, the size of the rear wing, and visibility for the mirrors. The wing is blocking part of the visibility directly back."

The planned raising of the rear wing will come at a time when F1 is also introducing a package of changes to help overtaking.

The rear of the car is already set to become wider and deeper to make DRS more effective.


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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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