How Ferrari's Formula 1 mirrors became a talking point

Rear view mirrors are often seen as a necessary inconvenience in Formula 1, because for all their safety benefits they are far from ideal in aerodynamic terms

How Ferrari's Formula 1 mirrors became a talking point

Ferrari's mirrors have been a major talking point this season, with its rivals keeping a close eye on the team's designs.

Last month's Monaco Grand Prix was the third race in a row the SF71H featured a new wing mirror design, as the team first reacted to a new development avenue opened up by the FIA and a subsequent directive.

The two-piece mirror design used by Ferrari early in the season had already put it under the microscope, as other teams tried to identify how they could implement a similar design to improve performance.

But in recent races, the design has gone through numerous changes. In Baku, the team was ordered to adjust either its floor or mirror design as the car was not in compliance with associated regulations 3.5.2 and 3.5.5, which require no bodywork be found in a box section ahead of the sidepods in plain view.

Teams have taken to hiding items beneath the mirrors, enabling them to comply with the regulations and maximise their design envelope.

This small overlapping area in the regulations has permitted teams to run floor strakes, which extend out from the floor and improve performance.

Ferrari had added these floor strakes but not taken enough care to cover them with its mirrors, causing rivals to question the design with the FIA - which subsequently requested they be modified.

In order to comply, the design team simply added three small appendages to the rear face of the mirror housing.

The team courted further controversy when it arrived in Spain sporting halo-mounted mirrors.

The fact they were mounted on the halo was not controversial in itself, as a recent technical directive from the FIA opened the door to the opportunity.

But in search of performance, Ferrari had also placed winglets above the mirrors, arguing that they were there in order to meet the required stiffness levels.

The FIA did not agree but allowed a stay of execution for Spain, with Ferrari required to make further changes in Monaco.

Unsurprisingly, the mirrors used in Monaco were very similar in design to those that featured in Spain, perhaps highlighting the fact that the winglets were just that and not additional supports as had been suggested.

shares
comments
The unluckiest F1 driver of 2018

Previous article

The unluckiest F1 driver of 2018

Next article

Max Verstappen hits out at criticism of his 2018 Formula 1 season

Max Verstappen hits out at criticism of his 2018 Formula 1 season
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jordan King
Teams Ferrari , Racing Point
Author Matt Somerfield
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021