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F1 Bahrain GP: Ferrari want further clarity over Mercedes rearview mirror design

Ferrari want further clarity from the FIA over the intrigue surrounding Mercedes’ rearview mirrors. The Italian marque want the governing body to inform teams about how far they can go when it comes to using them for aerodynamic benefit.

Mercedes were the talk of the F1 paddock at Bahrain’s pre-season test when they brought a completely overhauled car with no sidepods. The lack of sidepods saw the rearview mirrors mounted on a wing, with many teams feeling that parts of the mount are aiding the car’s aerodynamics – something they are not supposed to do according to the technical regulations.

Ferrari and Red Bull had questioned the legality of the rearview mirror, but after a meeting of the FIA Technical Advisory Committee, it was widely agreed that the Mercedes design did comply with the rules. However, the Maranello team want the FIA to issue a technical directive to inform teams about what is and is not allowed.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says that his team was at the receiving end of an FIA intervention in 2018. The Italian team had mounted their rearview mirrors on the halo for aerodynamic benefit, but were asked to remove them a few races into the season by the governing body.


Charles Leclerc (2R) and Ferrari CEO Louis C. Camilleri (R) celebrate with team members after winning the Italian GP in 2019
Miguel MEDINA/AFP

“No one is questioning the legality of Mercedes solutions,” Binotto said, as quoted by Autosport.

“But in 2018, we mounted mirrors connected to the halo, a solution that was legal as it was written in the regulations. However, two races after, a new technical directive from the FIA ​​forced us to remove them because they would have had a non-accidental aerodynamic influence.”

“This is the principle that I emphasise. The FIA ​​has the authority to clarify, and I am curious to see how the situation will evolve on this occasion. More than appeals, I expect clarification,” he added.

Mercedes are likely to run with the current rearview mirror solution for the first race this weekend in Bahrain. But if they are allowed to run with it for the rest of the campaign, other teams are certain to jump on to the bandwagon and use their mirrors for aerodynamic benefit.

Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton (left) and George Russell (right) pose alongside Mercedes chief Toto Wolff
Steve Etherington/MERCEDES-BENZ via AFP
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