Charlie Whiting Has Explained Why The FIA Has Banned Ferrari's Mirrors

Charlie Whiting Has Explained Why The FIA Has Banned Ferrari's Mirrors

With the FIA looking to outlaw Ferrari's mirror design ahead of the next race, Charlie Whiting has explained exactly what's wrong with them

Ferrari had a forgettable Spanish Grand Prix, with probably the most memorable thing being the introduction of its controversial Halo mirrors. Although technically legal, the FIA is set to ban the design for the next race in Monaco it seems to be a bit of a grey area at the moment. Whiting explained that the problem comes from the team trying to pass off aerodynamic winglets as mountings:

“There’s a liberal interpretation of the word ‘mounting’. That’s how they’ve become legal because there’s no bodywork allowed in the area. The interpretation hinges on whether we think that’s a mounting or not. We somehow think not, so we’re going to take some action. If it was a clear breach of the regulations they wouldn’t have been allowed to use it here. But we’ll clarify that to everybody.”

Vettel claimed the primary goal of moving the mirrors was to improve visibility. (c) Ferrari
Vettel claimed the primary goal of moving the mirrors was to improve visibility. (c) Ferrari

Whiting also said that if Ferrari turns up at Monaco with the same design there’ll be an issue with the legality, although he’s hoping the clarification will make it clear that Ferrari will have to alter its design.

“It’s just a matter of interpretation. We feel that something that is such a tenuous interpretation is not something that we’re happy with.

“I doubt they would be there if there wasn’t a measurable aero advantage. These days, that doesn’t have to be big.”

As dodgy as they may look, it kinda sucks that the idea has been shut down so quickly. After all, simple innovations like this are the sort of thing many of us like about F1 and, with regulations becoming ever more restrictive, they’re becoming ever rarer.

If the clarification means there will be no aero benefit to the mirrors, will teams even bother? (c) Ferrari
If the clarification means there will be no aero benefit to the mirrors, will teams even bother? (c) Ferrari

Any micro gains Ferrari made with its questionable mounts at the weekend won’t compare to the gains it’ll be hoping to find in Monaco when the regular Pirelli compounds are brought back. The formula changed slightly for the Spanish Grand Prix, but the top teams will surely be back in close contention when normal service resumes, be it mirrors, mounts or rubber.