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Forthcoming ban on outboard mirrors 03 April 2010

Three races into the season the FIA have declared outboard mirrors too dangerous and have banned them. The ban was to come in at the forthcoming Chinese Grand Prix, but after the teams complained of time constraints, it will instead be introduced from May's Spanish race. Ferrari were the first team to place their mirrors on the extremities of their car's sidepods back in 2006 (see drawing). Since then several teams have designed similar solutions, and currently six - Ferrari, Red Bull, Williams, BMW Sauber, Force India and HRT - are using mirrors attached to the vertical turning vanes in front of the sidepods. Mirrors don't usually have a good aerodynamic shape, but by putting them in the flow of air coming from the front tyres - an area already disturbed by drag - their negative influence is reduced. The difference they make is thought to be approximately half of one-tenth of a second per lap.