Ferrari are set to protest Mercedes’ car as they believe Lewis Hamilton’s 2022 challenger could be breaching rules pertaining to mirrors. In Formula 1 cars, mirrors are deemed non-aero structures and should only be used for looking behind cars – but the iconic Italian motorsport giants argue Mercedes’ are part of the aerodynamics package.
Ferrari believe the issue parallels an incident in 2018, when the Halo was introduced and the Maranello-based team attempted to secure an aerodynamic advantage by mounting the mirrors. While it was not against the regulations – like Mercedes’ current setup – F1 instructed the team to remove the part, and so team principal Mattia Binotto expects the same outcome.
“The FIA has always said that the mirror supports must only have a structural function, and incidentally an aerodynamic feature,” Binotto said according to Corriere.it. “There is no reason to change that approach now, because in the past we also had to modify the car once for this reason.”
Binotto believes a protest is not easily done, as 10 teams must vote on it along with the FIA. According to the 52-year-old though, mirrors cannot and should not be allowed to be mounted on the Side Impact Protection system.
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Any interpretation of the new rules would likely be sorted out through changed wording or ensuring that each individual component primarily fulfils its intended use.
“By and large, I would say there hasn’t been something that we think is contrary to the objectives of the regulations,” Tombazis said. “There’s been some small details perhaps in some areas, which are a bit less regulated than other areas.
“There have been some winglets and stuff like that which were maybe not fully in line with the objectives but they are relatively small details.”
The 22-race 2022 campaign, which was set to be a record 23 races before the Russian Grand Prix was cancelled, begins with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.