F1’s governing body will move to stop ‘ugly’ noses ahead of the 2015 season.
Drivers, fans and even the designers have expressed dismay at the aesthetics of this year’s new cars, after a change to the nose-height regulations on safety grounds for 2014.
But the FIA also expressed doubts about the safety of the new solutions, believing that while the designs conform to the letter of the rules, the ‘spirit’ has been less well observed.
“As rule makers, we cannot get into how the nose looks aesthetically,” FIA technical chief Charlie Whiting told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
“What concerns us is whether they fulfil the purpose that we intended with these rules,” said the Briton.
Whiting has already cleared all of the 2014 nose solutions to race, including the unique tuning fork-style Lotus, the double nosed Caterham, and the ‘anteater’ noses.
“Unless it’s dangerous, we have to live with how they look,” he said.
“We acted in good faith, but we are not designers. They want as much air as possible under the car.”
What has really upset the FIA is the way the teams have skirted the ‘spirit’ of the rules regarding the crash structure and the very nose tip.
So, for 2015, changes are looming. Whiting said the next set of rules will require nose “symmetry”, which will stop Lotus-style solutions.
New rules will also apply for the rate of deformation in the crash tests at the nose tip, and the minimum surface area may also be increased, preventing the pencil-thin 2014 noses.
And the 2015 changes will also prevent the sort of “radical transitions” from the wide part of the nose to the thinner tip, Whiting added.
© RIF | GMM