Mercedes' Paddy Lowe defends 2014 F1 nose safety

Formula 1's new lower noses are a definite boost to driver safety, reckons Mercedes chief Paddy Lowe

Mercedes' Paddy Lowe defends 2014 F1 nose safety

Despite concerns expressed by Red Bull technical boss Adrian Newey that the new noses can lead to dangerous situations in terms of drivers being forced underneath other cars or barriers in the event of an impact, Lowe is much less concerned.

He thinks that the added benefit of the nose, in terms of reducing the chances of cars being launched in to the air, outweighs any downside to their design.

"It's something that has been discussed and studied a lot by the TWG [Technical Working Group] over the years, but mainly by the guidance of the FIA Institute who do a lot of research in this area," explained Lowe, who is executive director of Mercedes.

"So they are the ones that have come up with the recommendation that the low nose is the best solution, the best compromise for the range of different types of accident that a car can experience.

"There is no one perfect solution to every single type of impact, but we need to consider impacts of all kinds of directions around other cars, particularly with an impact into a rear tyre as we saw with Mark Webber in Valencia where the launch is the real risk.

"That is particularly one where the low nose is very helpful. So the analysis and research has been that this is the best compromise and I respect that, with something that has been worked through thoroughly by the TWG."

Newey expressed his concerns ahead of the first pre-season test about the downside of the new lower noses for 2014.

"If you hit the back of the car square on, then you go underneath it and end up under the rear crash structure, which I think is a much worse scenario," he said.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
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