The low noses on the 2014 Formula 1 cars has certainly generated some creative interpretations with many teams designing a finger or anteater type of nose that has many photoshop folks working overtime with salacious interpretations.
The nose height was mandated by the FIA regulations that took the original nose from 550mm to 185mm high. The reason for the change is to possibly prevent the cars from being launched in the air should they run into the back of another car such as Mark Webber experienced when clouting Caterham F1’s Heikki Kovalainen.
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If memory serves, I believe I recall the FIA suggesting that the high noses were also approximately head-high in a side impact as well.
Red Bull technical chief Adrian Newey has shared his opinion on the low nose telling Sky Sport F1:
“The regulation has been introduced following some research by the FIA which suggests that nose height reduces the chances of cars being launched,” he told reporters in a press conference on day one at the Jerez test.
“So [the rule changes is to try and avoid] the accident that Mark [Webber] had when he hit the back of [Heikki] Kovalainen in Valencia a few years ago. I must admit I am concerned that the opposite may now happen, that cars submarine effectively. So if you hit the back of the car square-on, you go underneath it and you end up with the rear crash structure in your face which I think is a much worse scenario.”
The low nose could create a host of other reactions in a collision that isn’t merely a rear-end impact as Newey suggested:
“And there have been some accidents where you think if a low nose would have possibly made things much worse? There was the accident a couple of years ago where [Michael] Schumacher spun at the first corner and somebody mounted him – with a low nose that might that have made that worse.
“I guess it’s like all these things; it might help in some scenarios, it hurts in others. It’s one which I must admit I’m personally not in favour of.”
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Regardless of the wisdom of the decision to lower the nose, it has certainly created a series of interesting interpretations. The Caterham F1 2014 chassis has an extreme version of the nose while Scuderia Toro Rosso has Formula 1 fans creating phallus pictures from their appendage.
Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Sauber, Sahara Force India and Lotus F1 have gone with low nose but lack the controversial dropping finger feature.