Formula 1 teams that mounted their side view mirrors on their sidepods (which you’d think would make sense) will have to move them as a result of safety concerns.
It of course has nothing to do with the aero advantage the mirror position provided to the teams. (Can you guess which ones? Red Bull and Ferrari, you say? Nicely played, Champ.)
Autosport has some details:
Several teams have mounted their mirrors on the sidepods of their cars for aerodynamic reasons, with Ferrari and Red Bull Racing’s mirror positioning the most dramatic. But from Shanghai onwards, the mirrors will have to be fitted on the cockpit sides on safety grounds.
Drivers had said in Melbourne last weekend that they would be speaking to the FIA about the mirror problem. Several issues of accidental blocking in practice were put down to poor rear visibility.
And here’s Felipe Massa on it:
“I have no problem with my visibility,” he insisted. “So, if it is the same I prefer to keep what I have, but we will see how it is going to be. I hope we don’t lose anything moving the mirrors from one side to the other.”
I bet he doesn’t.
A more recent Autosport story adds something juicy to this dust-up, as Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel claims he has no reliability concerns, but he is worried about what the change in mirrors — or as we are sure to call it around here, “Mirrorgate” — will do to the cars’ speed.
Seriously. The mirrors. And the cars’ speed. Only in F1.
Here’s Der Seb: “We are much more concerned that from the next race we’ll all have to run the mirrors inboard and our car is losing quite some performance due to that, but reliability, no problems.”
Sounds like he better get that first victory this weekend, because he might find McLaren and, maybe, Mercedes challenging his quali times.
Finally, the Autosport story also offers conclusive proof that Vettel has been hanging around Mark Webber too much. And if you don’t know where I’m headed, then just let me warn you — the following contains language that is considered coarse everywhere except Australia! :)
“At the end of the day there wasn’t much I could have done better,” he said. “If I had spun or whatever it would have been my fault, but this is much more difficult to get over with.
“I think the cars are built on the limit. We didn’t have a single problem similar to what happened in Bahrain or Melbourne during testing. Shit happens, so we carry on.”
Let’s all hope Webber’s early season performance doesn’t rub off so obviously on the kid.