Formula 1 to get a little more modest next year

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No, it isn’t because Lewis Hamilton will be under Ross Brawn’s watchful eye in 2013. (Has anyone seen much from Nico Rosberg, by the way?)

No, lost amid the Lewis to Mercedes and Sergio Perez to McLaren are a few rules changes for next year.

Hate those stepped noses? Well, you’re in luck. The rules will allow for a “modesty panel” (I’m not making that up) to be put over the part of the nose that transitions from the lower part to the higher part.

Here’s how the official F1 site puts it: “Article 3.7.9 of the 2013 technical regulations refers to the new panels as “an optional, single piece, non-structural fairing of prescribed laminate (whose precise lay-up may be found in the Appendix to the regulations) which may not be more than 625mm above the reference plane at any point.”

And there’s this change, which Lewis might want to have known about before he signed with Mercedes:

The rules have also been amended, as expected, to outlaw the double-DRS system pioneered this season by Mercedes, where the team use the DRS activation mechanism to trigger other aerodynamic changes on the car.

According to Article 3.18, the moveable rear wing “cannot be used to change the geometry of any duct, either directly or indirectly, other than the change to the distance between adjacent sections permitted by Article 3.10.2.”

Can I just say how much of a pleasure it is to read bits of the rules. It’s hard to figure out how people find loop holes and gray areas, isn’t it?

Are people still upset or turned off by the stepped noses? Do you suppose this is a sponsor thing? If it is, I can’t help but wonder whether there were more substantial reasons some sponsors left or said “no thanks” than the platypus nose — maybe the economy or legal wranglings involving F1 or the change in the British TV contract or the migration of races?

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